Implementing customer Relationship Management systems and processes can be a daunting task, particularly when it is viewed as an all‐or‐nothing proposition. There is, in fact, an implementation path that allows for stepwise deployment, with incremental investment and incremental returned value. This paper explores the capabilities to deploy, the interdependencies among them, and the order in which to deploy them.
The incremental capabilities and their relationships derive from the author’s experience in process and engineering and in deployment of CRM systems and processes.
A 12‐step process emerges from this mindset and experience. The first four steps describe foundation capabilities and activities, without which no CRM effort can succeed. The next four organize basic CRM activities surrounding knowing your customers, managing your channels, and managing your process. The last four describe advanced ways of thinking about the value propositions from the customer view, measuring accordingly, and continuous improvement.
From a practical perspective, this approach offers organizations a method of deploying CRM so that investment can be incremental and value can be returned at every step. Deploying organizations will find that they gain confidence in the value of CRM without a large up‐front investment.
For organizations new to CRM, this paper offers a roadmap for deployment, a rational approach to getting started, and a basis for choosing the scope of a first deployment. For organizations already applying CRM processes and using CRM systems, this paper offers a basis for understanding deficiencies in your CRM practices and system, and it also offers suggestions on how to improve the value of CRM.
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