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Customer Relationship Management System Success Factors. And what influences it?

People-Process-Technology - Factors that influence CRM Success

Customer Relationship Management System Success Factors

CRM programs are intended to extend sustainable, competitive advantage and operational efficiency. It can be achieved when we concentrate on a few Customer Relationship Management system success factors.

To increase the performance and success rate of your CRM initiative, your focus must be on the Long-term profit goals v/s Short-term improvements. Long-term benefits are derived from business strategies that are driven by improving the effectiveness of overall customer experience and outcomes. Your long term results include better ROI for customer acquisition, customer retention, win-back, up-sell, and cross-sell of products, services, and solutions.

There are three major Customer Relationship Management system success factors:

  • People
  • Process and
  • Technology

CRM initiatives attract a different approach and not just focus on centralizing customer data. While CRM is supported by technology, it must not be driven by software. One must realize CRM’s real game lies in is improving employee skills and commitment, unifying intelligence from many internal and external data sources, and implementation of processes to apply the data across multiple touch-points to enable relevant customer interactions.

The People Factor

CRM is a concept designed for the people, delivered by the people. Hence, people form the most important factor in the success of CRM initiatives. We must also realize, no other business strategy cuts across so many organizational lines or requires so much interdepartmental co-operation.

Every member of the organization needs to have clarity of where they are going and why. This also comprises of realigning organizational structures, compensation, and training to help team members learn how to integrate and use new processes and applications into their daily work flow.

Data captured by sales, marketing, and customer service must be integrated and for this to happen, all people from sales, marketing, and customer service have to cooperate. This requires a new level of participation from all employees, a new level of cooperation among departments, and a new way of implementing dialogue with customers.

The Process Factor

The main outcome of CRM is that many business processes will be automated. After a Business Process Review and assessing the as-is and to-be processes, finalize which can be implemented, which needs to be updated, and which needs to be replaced.

Internal and external customer-facing business processes will make the greatest use of technology and hence have to be analysed and designed. Every process must have a defined objective, details of how its effectiveness and success will be measured and who owns and maintains these business processes.

Every single process be it simple or complex have to be arrived at with a significant thought.

Ex: Will there be web forms in the websites, portals and blogs the organization maintains and can customers raise and submit issues? If yes how will it be assigned and monitored, will there be escalations and SLA’s? Will there be a 24/7 customer support? If not, how quickly will issues be responded to? Will there be a confirmation e-mail that is sent immediately when an information request is received?

Will the organization have a knowledge base, FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) on its Web site? If yes, who will keep it updated? If a prospect or customer wants additional information, can they get it via phone or e-mail or chat services? Will inquiries be viewed as prospects and qualified for follow-up? How will inquiry e-mail addresses be added to the contact database? Will other contact information (name, company, address, phone number, etc.) be asked for at the time of inquiry or in a later communication?

So, hundreds or thousands of such daily business processes will be going through the same analysis! All these business processes must have documented procedures and the capability to be implemented, no matter what department or channel is responsible. Organizations can’t make the mistake of expecting bad processes to work better once they are automated.

The Technology Factor

Technology is the major factor that drives all the above discussed processes and strategies. Organizations will also need to select and track technologies that are likely to impact their efforts. This includes a variety of future capabilities related to permissions, e-mail lists, telephony integrations, interactive voice response, Web-support, workforce optimization, ERP capabilities etc.

Naga Darshan J
Naga Darshan J
Darshan is a CRM Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author and Business Coach. He heads the sales and marketing for Rapid GPRS and has been instrumental in transformation of several businesses.
http://nagadarshan.com

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