Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a business marketing model that leverages database technology so a company can optimize and customize its customer relationships. CRM experts often point out that the biggest cause of CRM failure in a company is a poorly conceived and implemented strategy. Building an effective CRM strategy should be an important part of planning for CRM.
CRM is increasingly considered to be a major component of an overall company marketing program. As is the case with any key functional business area, goals of CRM must be closely aligned with corporate strategy. This ensures that the investment in CRM infrastructure and transition is appropriately guided.
A current company audit is a must as part of CRM strategy and planning. Companies that are customer-centric prior to CRM development have an advantage. Consider current and needed customer data collection and usage, technology on-hand and required, employees and their roles, and all other major organizational factors that will affect CRM success.
CRM can often change the entire scope of work flow within an organization. Employees must learn to work collaboratively for customer benefit and understand the entire flow of tasks within the organization. Process maps should be developed and shared such that each department in the company knows its role in response to any customer issue or work task.