Customer Experience and Design

CRM, It’s Not Really A CRM Project Anymore

Lately, I’ve worked on a number of CRM projects for clients.  One theme sticks out more than anything else.  It’s that a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project is not really a CRM project.  Instead, they are the following:

  1. Marketing
  2. Data
  3. Integration
  4. Knowledge Management

In many cases, the budget for a CRM project has more funds allocated to data and integration than to the configuration and usage of a CRM tool.  Let me give you an example of a simple high-level architecture for CRM projects.  This is industry-specific for hospitals but you will get the idea.

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CRM Logical Architecture

Keep in mind that the logical architecture above is for a “CRM” project at three providers in 2019.  Notice that while they call it a CRM project, it’s just one of many components.  There’s probably no better way to highlight the interconnected nature of systems these days.  If you want to deliver a personalized experience to your customers (or patients), you have to spend a fair amount of time pushing data and insights into the right systems at the right time.

Bottom Line

When you budget for your CRM project, you need to take into account all the use cases and all the various components.  You can’t call up a customer’s information in your CRM during a customer service call without integration and passing of data. You can’t run campaigns and see the value of each effort without interaction between your CRM tool, a marketing platform, data tools, and integration tools.  Failure to think in these terms means you won’t allocate enough resources to the initiative and you won’t involve the right resources in your organization.

Up Next

In the next few blog posts, I’ll go deeper in terms of what I mean about a CRM project including so much more than CRM.

On a related topic, see what my colleague Susan Kight has one post on CRM for Healthcare and will have several more in the coming weeks.

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