CRM is a Strategy, NOT a Technology
CRM Best Practices (3 Keys to a Successful CRM Deployment)
By Cirrus Insight on Jan 28, 2014
What is a CRM? I have found two definitions that I feel best describe the context of a CRM. The first comes from www.destinationcrm.com: “A CRM is a holistic business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability through the effective acquisition and retention of customers.” The second definition comes from CustomerThink.com and states: “CRM is a business strategy designed to identify and manage client relationships in order to optimize the long-term value of the relationship. The CRM supports a philosophy of a customer-focused business and fosters a company culture that promotes customer-centricity in all marketing, sales and customer service activities.”
Both of these definitions meet my criteria for a true CRM. However, it is worth noting that in order to implement an effective CRM, you must be ready to adopt the CRM as your company’s culture, NOT a technology solution. You must also have the right leadership in place to support the new CRM processes, behaviors, disciplines and strategies. Your entire organization must be committed to exploiting a customer-centric approach in each engagement, interaction or communication with clients (moments of truth).The CRM is a tool, but individuals create your customer experiences (positive or negative) for your clients.
The CRM should be viewed as a competitive strategy that primarily impacts three functional areas of your business: marketing, sales and customer service. It compels you to focus on your customers in all of these areas. Your CRM strategy should include any person or member of your staff who can affect a customer’s experience (directly or indirectly) with your company and/or brand. An exceptional customer experience can be completely “wiped out” by a subsequent negative experience with your company. Therefore, your business imperative is to make sure that every contact your customers have with your company delivers a positive experience.
Adopting CRM as a Company Culture and NOT a Technology Will Dramatically Increase Your Business Success!
The fundamental objective of creating a CRM culture is to ensure your business can better understand your customers’ needs and wants so that you can engage with them more effectively and intelligently. A customer-centric culture will ensure that your business consistently delivers a “memorable and positive” experience, thus increasing sales, maintaining business profitability and better positioning your company for long-term client relationships and overall success.
At Doble Group, we believe that for the successful implementation of any customer-focused initiative, an absolute alignment is required between the business processes, the people who are responsible for them and the technology that facilitates their tracking and automation. At the end of the day, all members of the organization must be supporters of the CRM philosophy. The company’s leadership is called upon to create a culture of “customer focus” which remains long after the implementation of any project. To further ensure success, you must, on an ongoing basis, monitor the project’s evolution and drive its continuous improvement over time.
To affect these needed changes, it is important to build a high performing team that is driven by a clear customer-centric mission and led by executives that genuinely champion this new culture. It is also necessary to train people in the skills required to generate a passionate team that is committed to an exceptional internal and external facing customer experience. Systematic processes that reduce delivery times, add value to the customer, simplify procedures and ensure high quality service levels must guide this team. Your ultimate goal is to achieve proper alignment between people, processes and accountability.
Adopting CRM as a Company Culture Creates a New Business Purpose
Adopting CRM as a culture will inevitable create a new mission that fosters your company’s values, resources and tools to better serve your customers, providing them with products and services that they believe to be invaluable to achieving their individual goals and objectives. At Doble Group we seek to establish our clients’ positioning as truly irreplaceable partners that can build strong bonds with their customers to achieve exceptional sales & loyalty rates.
To achieve this objective, we ask you to consider the following questions. What is the present quality level of your service? How valuable do your customers consider your products and services? Are you easily replaceable? To serve your clients passionately and unconditionally, you must understand the answers to these questions.
Being passionate about your work simply means you perform your job with total commitment, energy, enthusiasm, and pride. Employees who are passionate about their work add value to your company and enjoy their time on the job. Their passion helps them relentlessly seek excellence in everything they do, and they view their job as lifestyle, rather than a source of income.
Serving clients unconditionally can be witnessed in your employee’s behaviors and attitudes. Employees delivering this type of service are always prepared for any situation and ready to serve customers with joy and enthusiasm, without any restrictions or conditions. This type of employee consistently provides a pleasant and memorable customer experience, regardless of external circumstances. These employees need to be singled out as role models, so you can identify and re-create their “WOW” moments of positive and memorable customer experiences and share them with other employees. - See more at: http://bit.ly/LfoD8R
Mariano J. Doble is the CEO of Doble Group. Doble Group
is a niche consulting firm that focuses on improving commercial business results through CRM and Performance Optimization solutions and the alignment of the organization, its processes and teams for success. They deliver their services through highly customized consulting programs and innovative cloud technologies.