Development of IT trends influences the approach to provision of services and development of software and services often change into delivery of solutions. Customers have the highest expectations, but they are insufficiently prepared to adapt their processes for effective use of CRM. What are the main reasons of CRM implementation failures?
Vague goals and requirements
Common mistake of the companies which have decided to implement a CRM system is an assumption that the implementation will automatically increase productivity and sales effectivity. According to numerous studies, from 30 % to 50 % of implemented CRM systems do not fulfil their purpose or fail at all. To ensure that the implementation runs smoothly, it´s crucial to define goals and needs and set the development strategy and vision for the next period already before the beginning of the project itself.
Even if it might seem that the implementation of a CRM system is very similar for various companies, the opposite is true. Each CRM represents a unique solution. That´s the reason why the quality of defined requirements directly reflects the quality of the delivered project.
Your requirements should be:
- related to a specific business need or opportunity;
- defined in sufficient detail, so the proposal of the solution can be made upon them.
In practice, we often experience that requirements on CRM are specified very vaguely. Therefore, within the analytic phase, there is a need to supplement or refine such requirements. If not, we can be sure that several “unpleasant surprises” will come out on both sides – of the customer as well as supplier. It´s logic that if the requirements are not precisely defined, in other words It´s not clear what needs to be implemented, the result will not be in compliance with the customer´s expectations. If the discrepancy is too large, the project can be stopped or at least prolonged, what increases the costs of the project.
The CRM system does not work with “clean” data
To ensure that the CRM system works properly, it´s vital that it works with “clean” data. It often happens that the relevant information on customer is recorded in multiple systems, it is not sufficiently identified or there is similar information in various systems with different data quality, what can lead to data contamination and duplicity. The data stored in various systems related to the same domains can be unstructured with various quality level. Therefore it´s important to put stress on the process called „data cleansing“.
Data cleansing is a process of editing or deleting data which are incorrect, uncomplete or duplicated. The problem of “contaminated” data increases with its volume and also with complexity of information systems used by the company.
Data cleansing can be carried out manually or automatically, as a single or repeated activity.
How to prevent incorrect or duplicated data?
The incorrect data can be avoided by implementation of system validation, automatic regular controls or adaptation of business processes. The important factor of success is also implementation of activities or processes improving input data quality either methodically or by some software tools.
Try to simplify the process of new data entry performed by your employees as much as you can. Your CRM should:
- make the process of data entry more effective – e.g. eliminate number of clicks necessary to entry the basic data;
- define required fields in a correct format;
- automatically pre-fill the data;
- display only data relevant for given user.
If the users themselves do not trust the CRM data, is less likely that they will entry new information in a correct manner, what significantly complicates the problem with contaminated data. Low quality of filled data can influence the quality of customer service or lead to wrong strategic decisions.
Eventually, the CRM system should be implemented in a way ruling out duplicities.
Choosing a wrong CRM supplier
You definitely should not underestimate the selection of a suitable CRM supplier. The right supplier should have rich experience with implementation of CRM solutions in the first place.
The biggest mistake of some of the suppliers is that they try to implement CRM without knowledge and understanding of the customer´s business. For the successful implementation of the CRM system, it´s crucial to have the customer in the centre of interest and understand his business processes. CRM suppliers, who do not comply with this requirement, will not be able to deliver CRM optimizing and increasing business productivity.
As an example, we can use implementation of a CRM system, which was not managed by a supplier from the very beginning or when a customer found out after the CRM was deployed that further cooperation is “exhausting”. Frequent indications of such cases are restricted capacity of the supplier´s sources, high error rate in delivery or failures in meeting deadlines.
After such experience, the customer often decides to change the CRM supplier, what usually results in increased costs on implementation or operation of the system or, in worse scenarios, the re-implementation of a part or the whole CRM system may be required.
Refusing changes and the CRM system by its users
Another important factor of successful implementation of a CRM system is positive acceptation by its users. Naturally, end users do not have a positive approach to any change, they do not like to adapt to new circumstances, ways of work or changes in business processes. Users can generate unpleasant atmosphere, in extreme cases boycott the entire new system and as a result decrease its productivity. The study of Forrester company has proved that up to 70 % of CRM projects fail due to insufficient adaptation of users.
Example: During the CRM implementation, end users or they representatives, did not take part in analytic workshops and only IT department was responsible for implementation of CRM from the customer´s side. After the system was put into operation, users refused to use it and as the reason they stated that they did not understand the new CRM solution, did not know where to click and were afraid that they could have spoiled the system by accidental activation of some inappropriate functionality.
If you want to avoid such situations, it´s important to incorporate the representatives of end users into the project from the very beginning. Educate, explain, communicate important aspects related to CRM, business processes and motivate your employees.
Upper mentioned reasons causing failures of CRM projects belong to the most common and frequent ones. If you are considering implementation of a CRM system, do not underestimate them and your project has a big chance to be successful.
If you are looking for a reliable CRM supplier which could help you make your business processes more effective, do not hesitate and contact us. We will be pleased to offer you a free consultation.