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CRM Best Practices To Think About

Jan 25, 2008
CRM best practices come and go. Here one year and gone the next. This is a little scary if you think about it. These practices are supposed to ensure the success of your enterprise. So if they change from time to time, does that mean that CRM best practices are actually a myth? Good news. There is a way to separate the good ideas from the potential disasters. That is to look back at history. There is nothing new under the sun. That also holds true for CRM best practices. Let us take a look at what history has already taught us.

Ideas and Myths

A common misconception is that technology is always involved in CRM best practices. This is simply not true. A single package will not solve all of your problems. If there is no organizational involvement, the package will not do much for you. If there is no concerted effort to apply the system in an evolving and adaptive manner, all that technology just goes to waste. There has to be a change in the mindset. The package will not do your job for you. Problems are not solved by tools but those who use the tools.

It may also surprise you to know that some CRM best practices come from non-CRM-specific technology. So go check your existing IT resources. You may just have the components you need for your CRM system. Learn to use creativity to solve this problem. It has the advantage of introducing CRM into your organization without the need for a large and costly investment. An example would be using a human resources management system to track customer information instead.

The Bottome Line

CRM is also, ultimately, about results. It is not just focused on process as some would have you believe. All this effort should have an impact on your customer's experience. It should also have an impact on your bottom line. You must place your CRM initiatives within these contexts if you hope to derive any benefit. But even though it's not solely about process, CRM is still process-based. Any successful initiative necessarily must have a process modification. It could be a small process or a large process. It does not matter. Just as long as there is a change. That is the only way for CRM to have value.

Something to avoid is to take on a narrowly focused CRM initiative. These are the projects that try to address a single customer-relationship problem. This simply does not work. What happens is that a number of these projects are developed and effort is halted. It is much more efficient to diversify within the context of a single, integrated CRM effort.

Since we are talking about framework, let us end with that idea. Build the framework first then add functionality to it. Hopefully, your initiatives are long-term strategic efforts and not reactive stopgap measures. Create your top levels first before going into all the details. Map out all your important points. Then, you can go ahead and create the lower level efforts within this framework. This avoids confusion and divided energies.
About the Author
What are CRM best practices ? Choose between all the CRM systems on the market right now and find out how CRM software works in www.CRM-Software-Guide.com.
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