A) CRM as a business concept can not be achieved by technology alone. The top nine issues need to be considered before implementing CRM strategy are as follows: 1. Understand Why Do not rely on, plan or adopt a CRM strategy based on what everyone else is doing. CRM only works when there is clear and measurable understanding of why an organization is doing it. If you are not doing it to improve service, foster loyalty, cut costs or increase revenue, then you probably should no be doing it. 2. Focus on strategy, not software A customer-centric approach is a pre-requisite for a successful CRM implementation. Make sure the strategy is well-defined and understood before you look at software to implement it. 3. Gain Executive sponsorship Implementing new business strategies invariably includes an element of change management. Unless there is someone at the top who can drive change across the company and make decisions when departmental silos disagree, CRM will never be adopted culturally. 4. Understand and Communicate Benefits at All Levels Understand and clearly define ROI at all levels including business, operations and end-user. Sometimes the biggest barriers are not technical but cultural. 5. Start Small and Scale Up Implement a CRM environment incrementally according to the immediate needs of the business and where ROI can be demonstrated quickly. Then identify how the success can be extended to other operational areas. 6. Focus on Your Employees To have a unified message both internally and externally, organizations should consider capturing knowledge and showcasing best practices among employees. 7. Partners and Suppliers on Board Learn from others Share experience with like-minded industry people. 8. Choose Vendor / Consultant carefully Make sure you ask vendors and consultants about their previous successful and unsuccessful implementations so that you can compare them with your business needs. 9. Use Your Second-Mover Advantage One lesson that the dotcom burst taught us is that ‘first’ does not always equal ‘most successful’. Many organizations have now gone through a CRM implementation and many lessons have been learnt and documented. If you have not started on your implementation yet, you now have previous projects to learn from. B) CRM issues can be broadly described as follows:


ii) iii) iv)

Retention strategy of potential defectors ( price defectors, defectors to superior products, defectors due to bad service, market defectors, technology defectors, defectors due to social reasons) (Arresting potential defectors—study potential / actual defectors, finding major reason for defection, studying organization’s strength / capabilities, benchmarking against best competitors, analyzing customer process,) internal process with emphasis on employee motivation. Retention strategies for loyal customers Measurement system for customer value Implementing retention plans

C) Issues needing attention before designing a CRM strategy 1. What you want? Acquisition of new customers or arresting potential defector or retaining existing customers by emphasizing on cross-sale / up sale 2. Focus on what kind of information you exactly need and from which touch points 3. Analyze customer’s purchase history 4. Score likelihood of one specific customer buying a specific product 5. Collect response rate 6. Zero in on functionality D) In a specific case like Hospital, Hotel, Resort, Bank, etc. carefully ascertain what actually is needed and how to locate / profile / handle / service / treat the concerned customers (new, existing, defectors) E) Remember, CRM software is not a universal panacea for all customer woes., nor a universally applicable theory but a tool, a device for specific application in a suitable context. It is not a perfect single solution to business problems. CRM as a technology-based tool is part of complex set of business strategies and processes to serve customer on an individualized basis. Myths of CRM i) ii) Excellent CRM systems guarantee marketing success CRM is not a strategy but tool to help and modify marketing strategies. To use CRM, company must be organized by customer segments rather than products. Without appropriate coordination with other functions, CRM is not effective. For example:- channel strategies should be combined with CRM capabilities. Successful CRM requires large centralized database with complete customer data.



iv) v)

Having smaller database also, CRM can be implemented. Important is choosing appropriate hardware and software. CRM requires most advanced and sophisticated analytical techniques Clean and relevant data is more important, not sophistication. CRM is a turn-key project CRM is a ‘test, run, taste’ process. S K Dasgupta 25-04-12