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Tabular Overview
I n t ro d u c i n g t h e Te c h n o l o g y
The initial processes of implementing a CRM solution are contingent on several fac-
tors, not least of which will be the organisation's current depth of technological involve-
ment. On one hand, a new organisation starting from the ground up will be able to plan
its CRM strategy from day one.The Tate Modern (London) is a good example, having
begun with a `clean' information set rather than inheriting a collection of data of
unknown accuracy and completeness. Prior experience can contribute to arriving at an
effective design. An established organisation may have a large number of experienced
staff, but the likelihood is that many different working practices will have been followed
in the past, and standardising these can be onerous, conflict-ridden, and more time-con-
suming that creating the data from scratch.
Given the focus of CRM technology on a unified approach, its introduction will
depend on positive employee relations. Staff may be set in their ways with regard to
working practice. Glaring inefficiencies may initially be viewed as `just part of the job'
and any attempt to iron them out viewed variously as an attempt to reduce staff autono-
my or as unnecessary managerial bureaucracy. Demonstrations of new software and its
capabilities should be held prior to implementation, in order to allow employees time for
adjustment.The users must be able to identify a definite improvement to their working
lives if the system is to be a success.Teething problems with the installation of new sys-
tems makes it prudent to run with both systems during the initial stages of rollout, and
to phase system changes in on a gradual and modular basis.
Database construction is likely to be the single most problematic part of the CRM
introduction process. Given the current level of sophistication of database management
systems it is likely that many employees will use a database without having much of an
Customer Relationship
Management
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Benefits
Risks
Clearer understanding of customer /
patron / user identities and interests.
Attempting to defi ne target areas whilst
simultaneously implementing the new
strategy may result in an insular vision.
New customers may be attracted by a
unifi ed vision within the organisation.
Danger of developing CRM in a vacuum,
as a result of considerable internal
adjustments.
Information held by a CRM system can
be understood and used in new ways.
Loss of data and internal resources due
to lack of attention paid to technology
integration.
Better communications, both internal
andwith customers / other related
organisations.
Time, skill and capital will be required to
install complex systems.
A fl exible system, benefi cial to employees,
customers and partner organisations alike.
Ongoing upgrade and maintenance may
be required, possibly resulting in costly
downtime.
A system can be tailored to meet the needs
of an organisation either before or during
implementation. Invaluable when done
correctly.
`Off-the-shelf' systems will require more
attention to integration than perhaps
initially anticipated.