Businesses disagree on why CRM fails, but top brass is top of list of culprits

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Most companies believe top management is not supporting CRM projects enough according to executives quizzed by management consultancy Accenture, but there is no clear agreement on why CRM fails to deliver.

Some 55 per cent of business executives said CRM shortfalls can be attributed to inadequate support from top management, while 74 per cent believe CRM fails because of flawed execution. Among the other reasons most frequently noted for the shortfall of CRM programs were: no long-term CRM vision; weak business case for investments; investments are not prioritised; and return on investment is not calculated properly.

“Too many CRM projects focus on the mechanics ­ specific tools and technologies ­ rather than the ultimate goal: increasing the value of the customer relationship,” said John Freeland, Accenture global managing partner for CRM. “CEOs are now challenged not only to deliver more sophisticated sales and service capability, but also to deliver and manage these capabilities more quickly and cost-effectively.

“Companies face some significant challenges in making their CRM initiatives pay off,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean that CRM is fated to become no more than a fad. When properly conceived and executed, CRM programs can create exceptional economic value.”

More than half of the respondents - 56 per cent - said their businesses would grow from 1 per cent to 20 per cent if they could gain access to comprehensive customer data with most agreeing that technology capable of delivering “historical, current and real-time data” on customers would significantly drive sales. Some 35 per cent of respondents said sales would increase to “a great extent,” while 43 per cent said they would increase “to some extent.”

Accenture conducted the survey in conjunction with Wirthlin Worldwide, which conducted telephone interviews with more than 100 of the leading executives in the Fortune 1000 in May.

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09th Jul 2002 06:10

Then why not, 'Customer Relationship Maintenance'?

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09th Jul 2002 16:32

Only those of us who were close to the development, and to Paul Elwood who coined the term "Health Maintenance Organization = HMO) are likely to know the story, but when originally planned, HMO was supposed to be Health Management Organization, but the feds felt that sounded too manipulative, so at the last minute, "management" became "maintenance" because it took up roughly the same amount of space in the galleys of the proposal document, and began with the same initial. Trouble is that, in practice, HMOs neither maintained nor managed anyone's health; they focused exclusively on managing costs to themselves and to their clients, and look at the trouble they've had! They never focused on consumer customers' success, indeed they denied, delayed, and hindered it as much as they pleased in order to ensure their own success. And "Maintenance" would still focus on maintaining customer relationships for the firm's own success, as it does under the rubric "Management", while ignoring customers' success, as is the case now.

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05th Jul 2002 16:05

The trouble with CRM is not merely that it is over-focused on technological gadgets ahead of purpose. It is also that its purpose is over-focused on "managing" customers for the benefit of the firm. In the first place, customers don't want to be managed, they want to be served, helped, benefited. And as we should all know, relationships are "managed" by both parties, not by one -- in fact if one tries to do it all, we have either slavery or no relationship.

If CRM were based on MUTUAL value rather than the firm's getting all it can from customers; if that mutual value were gained by both the firm and its customers through a RELATIONSHIP, in contrast to merely a series of transactions, and if the relationship were maintained through COLLABORATIVE management instead of the oxymoronic fiction of it being managed by the firm, it would have a far greater chance of success.

As it is, I would suggest a revision of the term to "Customers' Success Management" or CSM, in the confident belief that firms who employ CSM will not lose sight of their own success while focusing on that of their customers, as they have lost sight of their customers' success while focusing on their own in CRM. And I would recommend that the apostrophe after the "s" in "Customers'" remain to ensure that firms who adopt this revised strategy do not mistake it for managing the firm's success by exploiting its customers, as is the case with CRM.

Thanks (0)
avatar
09th Jul 2002 06:10

Then why not, 'Customer Relationship Maintenance'?

Thanks (0)
avatar
09th Jul 2002 16:32

Only those of us who were close to the development, and to Paul Elwood who coined the term "Health Maintenance Organization = HMO) are likely to know the story, but when originally planned, HMO was supposed to be Health Management Organization, but the feds felt that sounded too manipulative, so at the last minute, "management" became "maintenance" because it took up roughly the same amount of space in the galleys of the proposal document, and began with the same initial. Trouble is that, in practice, HMOs neither maintained nor managed anyone's health; they focused exclusively on managing costs to themselves and to their clients, and look at the trouble they've had! They never focused on consumer customers' success, indeed they denied, delayed, and hindered it as much as they pleased in order to ensure their own success. And "Maintenance" would still focus on maintaining customer relationships for the firm's own success, as it does under the rubric "Management", while ignoring customers' success, as is the case now.

Thanks (0)
avatar
05th Jul 2002 16:05

The trouble with CRM is not merely that it is over-focused on technological gadgets ahead of purpose. It is also that its purpose is over-focused on "managing" customers for the benefit of the firm. In the first place, customers don't want to be managed, they want to be served, helped, benefited. And as we should all know, relationships are "managed" by both parties, not by one -- in fact if one tries to do it all, we have either slavery or no relationship.

If CRM were based on MUTUAL value rather than the firm's getting all it can from customers; if that mutual value were gained by both the firm and its customers through a RELATIONSHIP, in contrast to merely a series of transactions, and if the relationship were maintained through COLLABORATIVE management instead of the oxymoronic fiction of it being managed by the firm, it would have a far greater chance of success.

As it is, I would suggest a revision of the term to "Customers' Success Management" or CSM, in the confident belief that firms who employ CSM will not lose sight of their own success while focusing on that of their customers, as they have lost sight of their customers' success while focusing on their own in CRM. And I would recommend that the apostrophe after the "s" in "Customers'" remain to ensure that firms who adopt this revised strategy do not mistake it for managing the firm's success by exploiting its customers, as is the case with CRM.

Thanks (0)