The idea of customer relationship management (CRM) is relatively new compared to other technology and strategies used in the business world. Using the latest technology and best strategies for managing customers has proven effective. This has led many companies to try and implement CRM. During this implementation stage, the company realizes that they don’t really know what they are doing. For this reason many companies seek out CRM consulting firms. Here are some tips for those planning on working with these firms.
Assemble a team of all-stars. If you’re in upper management, then you should know who the stars in your company are (if you don’t, then you have worse things to worry about then customer relationships). Get your best people together on this project and make sure they have all the resources to be successful. By assembling your best you will show the rest of the company that the CRM process is important. In addition, you always have a higher chance of success when your smartest people are on the job.
Have Goals set that will define success or failure. This is a good idea for any project, but it may be especially important when working with CRM consultants. Many people are upset with the consulting experience because when the consultants leave they have no idea whether it was a success or a failure. Make sure you have clearly defined and documented goals of what you want to get out of the CRM consulting experience. If you don’t, then you will be left to wonder if you just wasted a bunch of money.
Own the process. Another common pitfall when companies are working with CRM consultants is they just hand the reins over to the consultants and think that everything will turn out excellent. It doesn’t matter how much money you are paying them, they do not care as much about your business as you do (in fact, there probably isn’t another person in the world that cares as much as you do). Make sure someone on your team is the top dog on the project. This doesn’t mean that you should micromanage the consultants, but you should be working side by side with them so that you can ensure success.
Having an excellent CRM strategy in place (and technology to back it up) can lead to amazing results. Your customer loyalty will increase and this should lead to drastic improvements in profitability. To ensure a good CRM strategy, you will probably want to work with CRM consulting experts. If you do decide to work with experts, make sure that you assemble your all-stars, define success and failure, and own the project.