Due Diligence Pays Off Handsomely
Michael S. De Lio
Believe it or not, many CRM projects are doomed before they even get started. One contributing factor for this, is the lack of due diligence taking place prior to the implementation. Many organizations feel that the "software" will be the silver bullet in fixing any problems they are faced with in creating that cohesive front office. However when pressed to define what the issues may be, the organization is often left speechless.
What an organization must task itself in doing prior to sending out that first RFP is to take the pulse of their customer-facing business units. What are the biggest pains for these internal groups, and what creates issues for the external departments. Ask the hard questions: How are we doing business today, and is this the way we want to continue to do business in the future? If I were a customer of my organization, would I want to continue this relationship? Do I know who my customers are, and more importantly, do I know what they want? What haven't I heard from my customers that may be the stumbling blocks in creating long-term loyalties? Can I tell when, why, and how customer satisfaction diminishes?
By spending some time and analyzing the state of the business, the organization will have a better understanding of what to expect from their CRM project. They will know what questions to ask in their RFP and during the vendor screening process.
Michael S. De Lio is an E-Solutions Senior Manager for marchFIRST, an Internet professionals services company.
This was first published in November 2000