CRM is more than a fashionable term, especially since clients understood its importance, and how helpful can it be for a company. While in the past, only the major retail companies used CRM systems to manage their relationships with clients, today, this is a generally accepted concept, with hundreds of smaller companies trying to implement it. This is owned especially to the CRM developers and provides, which managed to offer customized solutions, with a price adapted for those small companies. Even so, implementing such a system for a small company is a costly project, which requires a project manager, and which has chances to fail, especially if the employees of the respective company are not able to understand and use the new gained notions.
The problem is that companies that implement it consider it a cure for all the organizational problems. A Customer Relationship Management program is useful, maybe more useful than other programs of this type, but it is not like a magical lamp that accomplishes any wish. Moreover, the success of implementation depends on the capacity of employees to understand and use the program. A CRM program is something new, which only replaces some old structures. The oldest employees might want to go with the “classical” methods, so besides implementation, the project manager has to train employees not to use the old programs.
The communication problems can also affect the success of the program. The employees of the client company don’t talk one with the other, and the project manager has to answer the same questions over and over again. Moreover, for successful implementation, a certain workflow must be respected, and sometimes is hard, when the employees don’t talk one with the other. Respecting the assumed terms is another problem. A CRM implementation manager needs to know when the employees are able to learn a new module, or when they will be able to test it. As the respective employees have their daily tasks, they usually forget about the implementation of CRM, and this is why the project is delayed. At the end, the project manager is considered guilty for failing terms, when in fact he tried everything possible to make it happen.
The CRM programs are useful because besides a better management of clients, it can also offer data about the market. However, besides the fact that all the employees must use the program, it is also necessary to have a few persons within the company that can manage it. Those don’t have to be IT specialists, but they need some technical notions, and they must be trained directly by the company that implements the CRM. In case the client does not have the necessary personnel for this, they can outsource the management of the program.
The CRM programs have a large area of applicability. The catering companies must use it if they don’t want to annoy the client every time with the same questions, but the program is also useful for supermarkets, taxi companies and for every business that needs to keep a tight connection with clients.
A simple CRM program is more than a simple software, like the accounting program or the informational one. It can be considered a business strategy, and if it is implemented correctly, it can boost the number of clients greatly. Sometimes, the companies that use those programs have so many new clients, but even in this case, the CRM program can offer solutions for managing the new clients and their expectancies. If the management of the new clients can be made without hiring new people, the CRM project can be considered as being implemented successfully.