Common Mistakes That Companies Make During CRM Strategy Implementation

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the strategies, practices and technology that organizations use to manage customer lifecycle and consumer data. When we say ‘lifecycle’, we refer to all the interactions between the organization and the customer from the pre-acquisition stage to the time when the customer moves on to a competitor. The focus in CRM is on retaining existing customers, acquiring new ones and maintaining positive relations with every customer.
CRM offers great advantages to organizations. Some of them include:
 Ability to understand the customer better
 Development of better relationships
 Increased opportunity to cross-sell products
 More efficient and effective after-sale service
 Reduced costs to the company due to minimal customer attrition
 Greater collaboration between all the departments of the organization
While CRM does provide multiple benefits, success depends largely on proper implementation. Organizations, irrespective of their experience may make mistakes when it comes to CRM implementation. To avoid making these mistakes, it is important to understand what the common pitfalls in CRM implementation are:
 Not developing a customer-centric strategy
CRM must be customer driven. By focusing only on the product or technology and ignoring the end consumer, organizations fail in their CRM implementation from the get-go. Market insights must be incorporated and a proper communication strategy must be designed to get the attention of every customer.
 Not accounting for customer’s desire for change
There are all types of customers in the market. In fact, the success of a product depends on the attention that organizations give to the innovators and early adopters. CRM strategies must be designed to capture the attention of these groups of customers.
 Ignoring mobile CRM
In mobile based CRM, targeted messages are sent to customers on their mobile phones. With increase in smartphone usage, organizations are adding web-based cloud computing to the mix. Artificial intelligence is being used to supplement CRM efforts. Mobile CRM is extremely important as messages can be passed on to consumers when they are on the move.
 Inflexible deadlines
The success of an organization’s CRM strategy cannot be seen overnight. Managers need to give themselves some time to observe the fruits of their labor. Trying too much too soon can be detrimental to the CRM strategies of the company. Deadlines must be made flexible and a dedicated project manager must be kept in charge of the CRM operations.
 Choosing incompatible CRM software
Apart from the strategies and practices, the CRM technology that organizations use is extremely important. By keeping in mind the requirements of the business, firms must invest in technology that supports their future plans and expectations. Vendors must be chosen keeping in mind common goals.
 Top-down deployment
A successful CRM strategy is always driven bottom-up. Employees at the bottom of the pyramid will have the best inputs about the field and will be able to drive the CRM strategy more effectively. Top-down deployment, on the other hand, often fails to take into account what is happening on the ground.

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