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Next Gen CRM

Posted on: Thursday 17th of March 2011

More than 50% of marketers think that opt-in customers are now less willing than they were in the past, to allow them to use the data they have provides, says new research from Ctrl-Shift.

Next Gen CRM” is a new report that examines the current landscape of customer relationship management (CRM) activity to identify where investment in customer information is taking place and what lessons can be learnt by those responsible for managing customer relationships. Based on 50 interviews with current practitioners, it seems that the decade long drive for CRM and data shows no signs of abating. Worryingly, just over a quarter of our interviewees were prepared to describe their CRM experience as “entirely successful”. Almost half of the organisations that we spoke to were somewhat disappointed, at best, in the results they had achieved with CRM.

The 90-page report also reveals taht

  • most practitioners still don’t think CRM is providing them with insights into customer behaviour; and
  • nine of the ten most common planned future initiatives relate to how organisations exchange information with their customers.

Putting the customer at the centre is clearly central to the approach described by most of our respondents, and quality of service ranks high on their priority list:

Customer service is everything. It can make or break us.”

Typically, each of the organisations that we spoke to could identify three to four areas where they have plans for further CRM investment. And the research revealed four key cornerstones of success

  • Successful projects are founded on a well-conceived strategy, led from within the business. Levels of satisfaction reported among those who describe their approach to CRM as strategic are higher than among others. Those who have adopted a strategic approach founded on business need see this as an advantage, and those who have not see this as a weakness.
  • Successful projects establish realistic expectations and a pragmatic implementation plan.
  • CRM projects involve a wide range of different stakeholders. Success depends on resolving conflict between different participants with different goals.
  • Agreement is best founded on a common view of the customer.

But beyond CRM are new tools and software, labelled social CRM. We believe that for most organisations, the most effective starting point will be based on achieving an understanding of the mix of communities that best serve the needs of their existing and potential clients. Effective participation depends on developing the skills and practices that build community trust. At this stage the choice of technology platform should not be regarded as a strategic decision, and with the current level of instability in the supply side of the market it would be wise to maintain a degree of separation between an agile social CRM platform and a more stable CRM core.

In other words – JFDI  – or, a little more politely, we think you should adopt a “test and learn” strategy.

For more about our research into Next Gen CRM, go to our shop