The CRM Mutiny
a recent, early morning flight to a client's site, I had the fortunate
experience to sit among a small group of business travelers working for
the same company. The trip started out quietly, but as the plane made its
way east, the four business professionals started to become quite animated
about the subject of their trip: further training on the Sales module of
an Enterprise CRM system. It was an amazing example of what can go wrong
behind the scenes of an Enterprise CRM implementation.
As the conversation progressed, so did the volume and associated vicious
indictment of Management for "foolishly deploying" a system which "took
away from time supposed to be used for selling." In fact, one person
stated in unflattering terms that the IT Helpdesk had no idea how to
support the application. Further, names were named out loud, personal
attacks were levied and a group position was proposed. By half-way through
the flight, all four agreed to assume a position of solidarity and refuse
to participate in the planned training. It was stunning to watch develop
to say the least! So the question is: "What drove a group of Sales
Professionals to plan an outright mutiny of a CRM deployment?"
It appears the employer of these four people missed an essential element
of deploying an Enterprise CRM system: user involvement. Inclusion in the
design and deployment process is a win for all involved. By including
users, the deployment team is provided valuable details about what is
required to fulfill their obligation. Likewise, the users are provided an
avenue to convey details of their needs. A very important and often missed
benefit of such interaction is the natural tendency for involvement to
promote acceptance of change.
Training and Support
Users need assistance, especially users caught within a troubled
deployment. In this case, it sounded like not only did the IT Helpdesk not
know how to support the user at the desktop, but there were no
departmental champions or coaches to take care of some of the lighter
lifting. The obvious lesson is to train the IT Helpdesk to support the
desktop. The less obvious opportunity is to create a department-based
champion or coach, someone who embraces the application and can be looked
to for immediate expertise and knowledge.
Communicating Direct Benefits
The many benefits that an Enterprise CRM system can generate for a sales
force were clearly not well-communicated to these four people. These
individuals viewed the system as a hindrance, literally something that
prevented them from doing their jobs! Communication and training must
reinforce the functions that will increase everyone's efficiency and
effectiveness. Given the right messages, these four would have been
looking forward to learning more about leveraging the system.
Fixing the woes of an Enterprise CRM deployment cannot be summed up in
this newsletter article. Further, rescuing such a seemingly fumbled
deployment requires significant damage control, repair and commitment from
the organization. Failure to fix a sideways deployment can have severe,
devastating ramifications. Based on the conversation I heard, this
situation cost at least one senior manager his job (so far).
If you find yourself, or know of a colleague, in such a position, all is
not lost! Beware, however, that trying to fix such a problem from within
can compound the issue - it is a situation where consultants (such as
Customer Centricity) may be a better choice. Better yet, call us BEFORE
you implement such a major change, and we'll help you do it right the
Becoming Customer Centric - Socialize Results
by Craig Bailey
feedback and information gathered and analyzed, the next step to becoming
Customer Centric by leveraging the Voice of the Customer involves
socializing the results of your VoC activities. It is time to make
effective and responsive use of this new-found intelligence
organization-wide. Essentially, this step involves assimilating and
disseminating information to all personnel in the firm.
A key to this step is that of ensuring each person receives the
"appropriate" level of information necessary to do his or her part in
influencing the customer experience. It is suggested that there are (at
least) two levels of information to share internally:
Top-level reporting for general awareness
Detail-level reporting for analysis and
Top-level reporting for
general awareness includes a set of high-level reports and statistics that
outline the overall trends of customer satisfaction, themes being observed
(what is working and what needs attention) and, finally, the action-plans
that are in place to address observed trends. This information should be
provided and/or made available to EVERY person in the firm. This can be
disseminated via a number of means, including an intranet site, all-hands
meetings and internal newsletters for employees. Managers should be held
accountable to review, interpret and discuss this information with members
of their staff. By doing so, the entire staff obtains a common
understanding of customer sentiment and demonstrates the firm's commitment
to respond to the voice of the customer.
Detail-level reporting for analysis and action-planning involves
providing detailed information for specific personnel within the firm that
have a direct impact on the customer's experience. Typically, this
includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following organizations:
Training and Education
Service and Support
should be expected that an assigned person from each of the organizations
above review VoC information to determine, for each area:
What is being done right (positive areas of impact
and/or activities to continue)
What items need to be addressed
The activities outlined above are meant to support the next step of
implementing customer-focused changes.
If you'd like to review an outline of the complete VoC program, feel free
to download the
presentation recently delivered to PDMA's VoC conference.
View previous articles in this series.
+ The CRM Mutiny
+ Becoming Customer Centric
+ Recommended Reading
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Over the past few years, we have presented numerous articles in this
newsletter on the topic of Customer Service. In her Help Desk Institute
Top 10 Customer Service Tips, Margo Chevers provides a summary of
items crucial to excellent customer service.
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
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