• I strongly support all the lessons learned that are mentioned in the post. I'd like to highlight an additional factor that I've recognized as being key to the successful implementation of CRM strategies – through my personal involvement in this space, namely integration.

    It's often not been feasible to expect the current business processes to change in order to support the implementation of a CRM tool. This is due to the fact that CRM tools have developed “horizontally” to support things like contact centers, trouble ticketing, outbound marketing campaigns and sales force automation – but were implemented without sufficient integration. The ability to pull information out of (or feed it into) the core operational business systems that govern customer accounts and transactions is critical.

    Remember how the same bank or telecom provider used to have a different name and address record for each of your different products? Did you ever get upset about a call center representative asking you for the same details over and over again in order to complete your request; or calling to offer you a great product you've already bought?

    Since core operational business systems have been in place long before CRM suites came along – the promise of CRM could only be fulfilled through a smoothly-running business process based on the right level of integration between the newly implemented CRM tools and the core business systems.

    To make things worse, each business typically had multiple such core systems – separated by product line. Those who realized this and understood the difficulty of making the integrated environment work opted to take a staged approach, and were more successful.

  • Excellent post Harish. I agree with you with all the points. Traditional CRM has always suffered the business and cultural egemony of sw vendor on the mindset of corporate management. It's really difficult to find clear and successful examples of CRM strategy implementations because of the lack of strategic guidelines from the companies. And I totally agree with you about the need of advanced analytics applied on this huge amount of data (especially in this new social era) archived in the corporate db with which we can find the path to learn more about our customers and consequently to engage them. I'll only add the analysis and identification of the right skills, inside the departments involved in SCRM, for the creation of a social internal team as an interface between the company and the external world.

  • Easy to remember URL for this post on #scrm : http://bit.ly/crmscrm

  • Thanks @aincalza for visiting my blog and for your comment. Yes, effective use of Analytics is key in any CRM implementation, especially when it comes to Social CRM – other wise no point in collecting vast amount of CRM related data and locking it up in database.

    Analytics should be leveraged for not only analyzing the past, but predicting the future – that's where value can be delivered in terms of better customer services or crisis that are avoided.

    And you are right, when it comes to using Analytics or Social CRM, identification of right skills is the key. I expect all major companies to aggressively start recruiting Social Media skilled consultants in the near future as they ramp up their Social CRM plans. We are going to see lot of action on this front in the near future, so stay tuned for more!

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  • Thanks @drororbach for sharing your thoughts and insightful comments:

    You are correct – Integration is a huge issue in CRM (and also in Social CRM). And when it comes to Data Governance and Quality, the situation in large corporations can best be described as “Organized Chaos” – right arm not knowing what left arm is doing – hence we get mailers asking us to sign-up for products we already have, or requesting same information over multiple times. The reason is that very few companies have invested in data governance framework and best practices. Only now, companies are starting to realize this challenge and have started investing in Master Data Management (MDM) solutions.

    Given the fact that Social Media Networks generate lot of information (user generated content) and since people use multiple ids to post their comments/opinions, data quality and integration problems are likely to get a lot worse before it gets any better. But for consultants and IT services providers/SIs, this is another opportunity they can leverage.

    Thanks again for your comment, much appreciated!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  • Mark A Carbone

    We've just begun upgrading our clients to SCRM and I'm seeing a few recurring themes relating to ur top 5 which I agree with. Great post.

    Culture shock and anger from top down. C level guys r expecting double digit improvements in conversion rates while maintaining old secretive silo communication strategies internally and not embracing next step in evolution to becoming social enterprises so sales, customer service, and ops are not socially passing the client down the process chain and improvements r not what they expect in customer satisfaction and conversion.

    Second, a lot of sales people r not being trained in conversation forensics or just lack the skill to disiminate all this new data or freeze up from information overload.

    Other than that, the guys who get it, especially if the CEO is all about transparency and is a social media freak, it's a big hit.

  • Thanks @markacarbone for your insightful comment. Much appreciated!

    When it comes to Social Media, Senior Management is no longer in control the way they used to be earlier – that explains Culture Shock, Anger, Frustration etc..

    Best strategy for brand managers is to embrace Social Media whole heartedly, not just in a knee jerk reaction, train employees on how to leverage SM and let go. This will take some time, especially for large corporations but eventually they will. But one thing is certain, thanks to Social Media, world has changed for ever – things are not going to go back to older model. Sooner companies realize this better for them – else they will lose out.

    Thanks again for your comment and kind words!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  • Thanks @markacarbone for your insightful comment. Much appreciated!

    When it comes to Social Media, Senior Management is no longer in control the way they used to be earlier – that explains Culture Shock, Anger, Frustration etc..

    Best strategy for brand managers is to embrace Social Media whole heartedly, not just in a knee jerk reaction, train employees on how to leverage SM and let go. This will take some time, especially for large corporations but eventually they will. But one thing is certain, thanks to Social Media, world has changed for ever – things are not going to go back to older model. Sooner companies realize this better for them – else they will lose out.

    Thanks again for your comment and kind words!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  •  thanks for the info!

  • Data quality also depends on how good one’s CRM program is. Nowadays businesses don’t have any problem with it since CRM technology has constantly improved through time. Many businesses have found such programs widely and easy to manage.
     

  • Thanks for your comment!

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.