CRM sucks. You know it, I know it, and the world of enterprise tech knows it. Yet companies are still shelling out billions a year on it, vendors keep serving it up, and users keep drowning in despair. Even today’s current flavor Social CRM is not appearing to help. While it has been an open secret for well over a decade, very little has been done to solve the inherent problems in CRM adoption and the lack of return on investment (ROI). Instead, we simply get another feature or get fed another acronym in a research report.
Customer Relationship Management certainly manages stuff and contains customer information, but somewhere along the line we managed to forget the relationship part. By relationships, I mean not just relative to the customer and company. The relationships between users and how they engage with customer through technology and modes of interaction is just as important.
A new vision of CRM is what we need. CRM, as a technology and a business philosophy, is really one of the few ways that companies can differentiate themselves from the pack. Great products only get you so far. Eventually the market catches up and the competition is not about product, it is about how you are reaching and engaging with your audience. The way you keep that audience engaged and loyal comes down to servicing their needs. Without that customer-centric view point, you are merely throwing darts at a wall.
We need to build a significantly better CRM. For CRM to truly succeed, it needs to squarely and competently address four major deficiencies that have plagued every single CRM technology to date:
There are not many specific items regarding the better CRM. However, that is part of the point. It is not another feature set or requirements document. CRM requires a complete overhaul, not just a nose job or nip-and-tuck. There are a lot of vendors and startups that are merely glancing at the problem, yet no one is tackling it head on. In essence, what we are talking about is a completely new way to use technology and an approach that is user and relationship centric. It is a more human CRM in design, philosophy, and implementation.