Many companies when implementing big Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs mainly focus
on fulfilling the standard steps for CRM success such as
installing a state-of-the-art CRM software application,
forgetting a more crucial aspect: the "people factor".
In order to have a successful CRM program, a project
manager first has to admit that CRM is more than a system
for which success is measured by project milestones
alone. Once the real impact of CRM on the business is
properly understood, the input of the HR department,
which is non-negotiable, would be sought right from the
planning stage of implementation.
CRM success lies not only in the delivery of guidelines in
the daily contacts between customers and staff but also in
the structured and consequent development of the
employees in their company lifecycle. Hence, for a
sustainable CRM system, its capabilities or values need to
be present throughout the HR process: from recruitment
and employment to staff development and promotions.
These capabilities need to be highlighted during job
interviews, reinforced on the job and enhanced during
This is essential because while it is easy to train employees in technical skills, it is much harder to instil a
It is also important to embed CRM leadership values into
HR and this is not only valid for those employees with
direct customer contact but also for the whole
organisation. Each employee needs to know the
importance of the customer and basic CRM reporting
figures (how many customers complain to us and why?
How many customers do we actually have? What is the
loyalty rate of our customers?) to be involved—and not to
see the customer as a "black box."
There have been instances where CRM implementation
has been met with employees' resistance for reasons
including fear of changes, unwillingness to increase
transparency and inconvenience of use. According to a
report in the Harvard Business Review, the primary reason
CRM miss the mark in helping companies increase revenue
is that front-line sales professionals and managers rarely
find the majority of these capabilities useful in winning
more business for the company.
However, with training and implementation facilitated by
an experienced consulting firm like Jake Riley, employee
adoption and CRM success is guaranteed.