What not to do with CRM
Besides the CRM success factors, it is also important for an organization to be aware of potential pitfalls. What are some things to avoid? Five pitfalls in a row.
Everyone does it
A major pitfall is doing something because someone else does it too. With regard to social media, this has been discussed a lot. An example with regard to CRM is non-profits, for whom CRM is relatively new, who see it being of great benefit to the organizations they work with and wish to share in those benefits. What's missing is a vision for CRM and the objectives it will be used to pursue. Start at the beginning, and first ask yourself why you want something and what you want from it.
Seeing CRM as the task of a single department
CRM isn't just for the marketing department. Or a tool implemented by the ICT department. Whoever integrates CRM within the organization and makes it a part of the business strategy can reap the greatest benefits. While implementing CRM, avoid tunnel vision. The formulation of the vision, objectives and sub-plans enables optimal use of CRM in every department.
Forgetting whom you're doing it for
The fact that CRM is integrated into the organization does not mean it should be focused purely on the internal organization. CRM is about customer focus. It goes even further when you see stakeholders as customers too. Besides (internal and external) customers, you should also include suppliers and partners in your CRM strategy, so that the focus stays on whom you're ultimately doing it for.
Thinking too big or too small
The end justifies the means; this applies here quite literally. Only when you know what you want to achieve with CRM can you determine which CRM system best matches your needs. It's important that various different departments are involved in the choice of CRM system. When departments are working with CRM sub-plans, it's especially important that the CRM system is also working for them. This avoids an organization ending up with a CRM system that really can't do everything the organization wants. Or a company purchases a CRM package that's actually too advanced, and therefore often too expensive, with features that it simply doesn't need. Look before you leap.
Not freeing up enough time
Take the time to properly integrate CRM. Formulating the strategy takes time. Choosing the right system takes time. Implementing CRM takes time. And staff training takes time. Many organizations forget that introducing CRM will inevitably have an impact on their business activity(-ies). Eventually they earn that time back and then some, but it does require an initial investment of time. That knowledge and time can be freed up within the organization itself, or one might do well to hire expertise and thus buy extra time.