CRM should invest in people

I was interested to read your report on comments made by Lorna Rowland at the Economist e-CRM conference (MW March29). I agree with her view that “no CRM project can be viewed as a finite task with a start and end date” and suggest that any organisation viewing CRM as a “project” rather than a continuous, essential activity stands little chance of reaping the full rewards of the time and money invested, or indeed meeting the needs of their customers.

Although CRM is inextricably linked with IT, the technology that drives improved customer experiences is all too often considered in isolation. Many CRM initiatives do not live up to expectations when implemented because organisations fail to ensure from the outset that those staff who interact with consumers truly understand the principles behind the strategy and have the necessary skills, training and processes to be able to deliver that strategy.

And just as Lorna Rowland recommends an ongoing investment in technology to support a CRM strategy, this should be matched by investment in the organisation’s people. After all, it is these people who make CRM a reality by delivering profitable customer experiences.

Vanessa Hartnoll

Head of consultancy

CPM Consulting

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