Customer relationship management or CRM can be a daunting task if you are implementing it either for the first time or trying some out of box strategies. It becomes difficult times since companies have to consider a lot before applying CRM like business strategies, marketing theories and strategies, budget, technology, change management and more.
But the kind of CRM practice you adopt can be used in many industries. And this is something to understand. At times companies take up doing entirely out of the box and new practices that lack research. One such CRM strategy would be using latest technology not backed by sound research or business case study.
Yes, It is essential to bring new creative and more robust strategies, but it is vital to back such CRM based on its feasibility to succeed. It’s like taking a 360 Degree review before you tend to implement new CRM launch in your company.
So here are some beneficial steps for implementing a successful CRM
- Executive buy-in: Well it’s clear that if the management doesn’t believe in the CRM how will the employees trust it. Therefore support and agreement of the entire top management are critical for the company as a whole to accept it and believe in it. If you wish to implement a successful CRM, it is essential for all the management to agree to it as they have to put in their effort to make it happen.
- Alignment of departmental strategies: It’s critical to understand that each department, be it sales, customer care or marketing, they all have different approaches, but there all should aim for one single goal, i.e. growth and development of the business as a whole. This is indeed the key to successful CRM implementation. When all your departmental strategies are aligned to the enterprise that focuses on developing functional customer relation, then your CRM will be a huge success.
- Focus on policy than technology: This is a very common mistake, companies start focusing on using technology with understanding its impact and useful on its management, rather than drafting effective strategy. A week strategy even through backed by latest technology cannot succeed on its own. Use of high-end Software system is only for boosting your strategy and not otherwise.
- Gather enough data: There is a lot of importance of customer psychology and behaviour when it comes to designing a successful CRM. So when you get down drafting CRM strategies make sure you got a lot of data on your customers, their behaviour, what affects their choices and what triggers them making a decision. This is important! Collect as much data, reduce redundant information and standardize your database.
- Financial risk must be minimised: CRM is not a small thing, and it is not one-time expenditure even. The regular outflow of money is required to keep the CRM aligned to its strategies. It’s an industry-wide accepted norm that the one-time license fee will outrun the application money by 3:1, so you have to plan your finances well. So your planning for CRM is not short term but long term in all respect including funds.
- Plan for longterm with migration plans: Consider setting up SFA solution, it’s cost-effective but can it accommodate e-commerce. Or say which every vendor you select that vendor can be able to expand, upgrade or render services that you will require in a year or twos time. Planning ahead of time is critical.
When you take care of this six critical issue while drafting your CRM strategies, they inevitably will fall in line like you planned and will bring success to your business.