Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Is CRM really that hard?

I know a bit about Customer Relationship Management.

My first job as a journalist was on a magazine about CRM, just as the concept became popular. In my agency career I've worked with some great CRM thinkers at clients such as, BT Design, Microsoft and Avanade. I've written white papers on CRM. Hell, even one of my best mates is a top CRM journalist.

The concept of sharing information about a customer and putting that info at the centre of every business decision is one that I first heard in 1998, and is one that I still hear now. Some companies are doing it very well (helped by some of the names I mentioned above).

Think about the last time a company surprised you by knowing who you were when you called, or sent you an offer relevant to you at the right time, or responded quickly after you mentioned them on Twitter. CRM - when it works - is impressive, isn't it?

Which leads me to ask this question:

If you've upset one of your customers so much that they were driven to creating an entire blog dedicated to how badly you've let them down, forced this customer to create online competitions - sponsored by your competitors - where people compete by signing petitions against your godawful service, and driven this customer to such distraction that they'd rather continue paying for a service they don't use for over a year just to never have to speak to your organisation again...

How did you come to the conclusion that it was a good time to ask them to sign up for your credit card?