6.9 Managing the CRM program 233
Chapter 6
Preemptive alerting has both operational and strategic benefits for the
business. It eliminates unnecessary, costly, non-revenue-generating inbound
customer contact, resulting in increased customer satisfaction, dramatic
cost-per-call savings, call elimination, and better service levels, as well as a
reduction in the number of agents required in call centers. On a strategic
level, proactively giving customers the information they want increases cus-
tomer satisfaction and gives companies a competitive advantage. In addition,
offering alerts with intelligent response options enables companies to com-
bine sales and service initiatives that increase revenue, generate highly quali-
fied inbound traffic, and make the most efficient use of both customer and
company time. Companies are recognizing that their call/contact centers are
a vitally important part of their overall business strategies and operations and
are particularly critical to CRM strategies. As noted elsewhere in this book,
customer service has become a major competitive differentiator in many
business sectors. By using an enterprise alert/response platform to leverage
existing legacy systems, CRM systems, and Web investments, large busi-
nesses with many thousands or millions of customers, can now engage cus-
tomers in an intimate, trusted, two-way dialogue that creates measurable
improvements in customer loyalty and profitability.
6.9 Managing the CRM program
Management may be loosely defined as the art and science of getting from here
to there. Most large organizations have more than one CRM project touching
many parts of the enterprise. And these projects are managed by many differ-
ent players, some in call centers, on Websites, or run by salesforces or differ-
ent business groups. Pulling all this activity together into an enterprisewide
program is a major challenge. CRM program management guidelines offer a
sound approach to program and project management. Developing CRM
program guidelines brings managers back inside the enterprise to the starting
Program manager guidelines
The following guidelines provide an overview of the practical steps that can
be taken to ensure that the CRM program (or programs) will work at all
levels, from strategy articulation to software installation and training. The
goal of these eight guidelines is to improve the success rate of CRM pro-
grams and to enable an organization to measure success through clear link-
ages between program initiatives and desired business results. Each of the
234 6.9 Managing the CRM program
following eight steps matches a phase of CRM program design and imple-
1. Program diagnosis
2. Strategy review
3. Enterprise architecture
4. Enterprise application integration services
5. Package selection and implementation
6. Application outsourcing assessment
7. Implementation review
8. Program and project management
Each step and its associated activities have been proven effective in previous
large-scale change and improvement programs, such as business process
reengineering and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The hard lessons
learned in implementing these projects also apply to CRM programs.
The eight steps recommended in the program management guidelines
are described next in more detail.
Program diagnosis
An organization needs to assess its business objectives against current CRM
programs to highlight the areas of needed improvement and to identify
where it can get the biggest bang for its investment. The diagnosis can
examine CRM approaches, conversation design, relationship styles, organi-
zational structure, and IT infrastructure. Understanding how these com-
pare with other organizations and with best practices and how they fit into
the enterprise’s business strategy will help identify areas for improvement.
Strategy review
An organization needs to review and assess its CRM strategies. The aim of
this review is to develop an understanding of the conversation designs and
spaces that make its customer relationships profitable. This forms the basis
for a CRM game plan that is right for the organization and for the joint
development of business and IT strategies.
Enterprise architecture
The program diagnosis and strategy review steps will highlight the benefits
of pulling all the CRM-related initiatives that may be scattered across the

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