More Tips to Avoid CRM Quicksand

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Joan Berube's article about implementing CRM systems was very good ("Avoid the Quicksand of CRM Systems," June 21) and addressed most of the key issues faced when undertaking such a project. As a SFA/CFM consultant, I have had many experiences with companies that subscribed to these practices and many that didn't.

There were three things that were not mentioned that I tell my clients at the beginning of any project. They are fairly simple in statement, but critical to the success of the project. They are:

* Implementing a CRM system will change the way that you do business. If you are not willing to accept that, do not undertake the project.

* Management must be fully committed to the project. If they are not, forget it.

* Involve everyone who touches the customer, from bottom to top, whether they will directly use the system or not. Even if someone will not make direct use of the CRM system, they will be affected by it. The phrase "bottom to top" is deliberate because the people on the "bottom" often have a better sense of what is necessary to create an effective relationship with the customer.

Bob Galivan

OptiCom Inc.


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