In our previous post we covered what it takes to track your CRM performance and chart the journey you want your program to take.

To get deeper into each of the dimensions we mentioned, we are kicking off this 5 part series which I’d like to call the “Think Again Series”. And in the first part, we will discuss the first key dimension of a successful a CRM program, Aligning your Organization.

Did you know, 50% of the CRM implementations fail to garner the results they are meant to? While this maybe due to a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones could be misaligned organizational objectives.

What I mean by misaligned organizational objectives is when your CRM exists and functions as a “nice to have” process in the organization. In the ideal CRM world, from top to bottom, the priority and resource allocation given to your CRM program should be at par with other major functions like marketing. But more often than not, we don’t see this happening.

In our extensive experience with countless brands around the globe, we have identified three dimensions of organizational alignment that you need to get right if you wish to see the success you meant to achieve with your CRM program. These are:

Functional Alignment

First things first. Does your organization realize the profit your CRM program can bring to the business? Does everyone – from the CX level teams to store associates – realize the gravity and importance of designing and implementing a truly customer centric program? Do you have centralized team that solely concentrates on all things CRM?

If your answer is a no to any of these, then your organization is not functionally aligned to support a world class CRM program.

Loosely put, CRM program is a process of creating lasting relationship with customers. But it actually includes other elements too – staff management at the stores, packaging products, campaign planning etc- all these will be effected from the insights you get out of your CRM program. Hence if you are not giving this function the love and attention it deserves, then you’re losing out on more than just relationships with customers.

Strategic Alignment

In many of the brands we deal with, we see that CRM behaves as a standalone team. Even though it has been given resources and budgets of its own, it does not bring the right kind of returns because it does not communicate internally with other teams.

Aligning your CRM objectives and plans with those of other departments like marketing is crucial to ensure your brand speaks to your customers in a single, consistent and streamlined fashion. Bombarding your customers 10 times in a month, for example, – 5 times for a marketing promo and 5 times for CRM related promos – will lead to customer fatigue and have the opposite effect to what you intended – your customers pushing themselves away from you.

So get your CRM teams in a room with the other related teams, and form a single, perfectly aligned strategy for your brand to help everyone hits their numbers and achieves their targets.

Vendor Alignment

As an organization, you will have multiple vendors who will be working towards meeting the objective you have set for them. But are they aware of the bigger picture? For example, does your creative agency know what goal you are trying to achieve with that video ad? Does your campaign management team know what this email campaign is meant to achieve? If your answer is anywhere between “sort of” to “no” – then you’re in trouble.

Making your vendors understand the bigger picture helps them perform much, much better. You will be surprised by the ideas and recommendations they come up with to help you get higher returns on every buck you spend.

So after your marketing and CRM team huddle, get your vendors together and share your mission with them. You will see how every team comes together to get you that sweet success of customer relationship management.

If you get these three attributes of your organizational readiness in a straight line, then we are confident you will be on track for a CRM program that is all set to see great results, for a long time to come.

Don’t forget to check out the next edition our Think Again Series – “Think you know your customers up close and personally? Think Again.

Azmeen Ansar
Marketing Manager, SEA at Capillary Technologies, Azmeen handles lead generation, content marketing and PR for the entire SEA region. She has also had extensive experience in helping brands such as Tunglok Group, Pizza Hut and KFC get consumer ready by implementing tech forward consumer experience and consumer relationship initiatives.
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