C R M Te c h n o l o g y a n d t h e H e r i t a g e S e c t o r
At the time of writing, the majority of CRM packages remain dedicated to the pur-
suit of increased profit, the idea being that a thorough knowledge of customers leads to
increased customer satisfaction with the standards of service that a company provides,
thus begetting stronger customer loyalty and longer-lasting relationships.The heritage
sector is traditionally involved less in the acquisition of monetary capital through sales
(though issues of finance are changing this) than it is in such areas as education, conser-
vation and entertainment. Competition in the heritage sector tends to be less cutthroat
than in the world of business, and cooperation is generally friendlier and governed less
by returns and base figures. However, customer/patron/visitor satisfaction remains an
important factor, particularly when it comes to the sometimes elusive goal of repeat visi-
tors.The pursuit of this prize is among the more pressing reasons for cultural heritage
organisations to consider putting a dedicated CRM system in place. Relationships with
project partners and funding bodies can be made to flourish with a new approach to
Case Study I SCRAN (www.scran.ac.uk)
The Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network (SCRAN) contains one million
media resources, liaises with 450 partner organisations and has around 28,000 customers
and registered subscribers. Prior to the implementation of its dedicated CRM system,
three project officers liaised with SCRAN's partners. As a `small' organisation it was felt
that this allowed for a personalised approach, assuming that the relevant officer was
present in the office whenever contact was required.
Interim points and deliverables vary for each project partner and keeping track of the
status of individual transactions can be difficult. Before the advent of CRM software, the
project officers worked from a paper-based filing system, and unlinked and non-standard-
ised databases, although their computers were networked to a server capable of hosting a
large, centralised database. No formal contact log was kept. It was decided that a CRM
package would moderate registered user communications, ensure data validity and relia-
bility, and manage sales of the main products, namely SCRAN CD-ROMs and online
subscriptions to the website.
Graham Turnbull, SCRAN Publishing Manager, had prior experience with ACT!
CRM software, and was already aware of its capabilities and potential use to SCRAN. A
copy of the latest ACT! demonstrator was acquired and examined by Turnbull and the
in-house technical staff, each noting the potential benefits of SCRAN for both cus-
tomer-facing and back-office staff.These noted benefits were eventually used for staff
training and to `sell' the CRM idea to SCRAN's management.
This case study is based on two telephone interviews with SCRAN Publishing Manager, Graham Turnbull,
which took place on 24/09/2002 and 15/10/2002.