Defining CRM Processes
Shoddy standards and C RM
This chapter focuses on specific processes that are critical for true, unified
CRM to happen. CRM often gets a bad press because it has been imple-
mented without due regard to such processes. It's hardly surprising. It's my
contention that most CRM implementations are not about improving the
customer experience but are more about paying lip service to customer-centric
processes. That's the conclusion I have come to given the shoddy standards I
encounter when I am contacted by or make contact with a call-center, for
example. I am not alone in drawing these conclusions.
Big-blast CRM, invariably wrapped around an implementation of a
CRM "suite," is unlikely to meet the expectations of the senior management
who sanctioned the expenditure, or of customers. Business magazines such as
Industry Standard
have run high-profile stories questioning
whether big CRM projects ever provide adequate return on investment
~investment often amounting to tens of millions of dollars for software,
hardware, and services.
The analysts do not make the situation any better. Many of them talk
about CRM ecosystems but fail to discuss the real tangible benefits of imple-
menting a system to allow customers to communicate by e-mail (and get an
appropriate response) or to allow vendors that have invested in a marketing
database to use that database to maximum benefit by engaging in closed-
loop marketing~online and offline. They bamboozle their clients with
CRM is not about big blast; it's about realizing measurable return on
investment by implementing projects that can produce dramatic improve-

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