Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CRM, it is all about the people!

Back in 2002…

The first time I heard the term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was in 2002 when I was still a student. And I found the term, but moreover the strategy, very interesting.

In that time I bought my clothes at a certain store in Rotterdam and it struck me; the store owner had a CRM strategy! Every time the new collection of the brand I loved came in, he would call me up just to tell me that. He would even, as he knew my taste, leave some items in the back until I dropped by. The thing that struck me the most was, that this guy was making good money with just one phone call. As every time I came by I would buy something and I would come by a lot ;)


The store is still in Rotterdam, still selling the same kind of brands, I still have the same (horrible, haha) taste, but the store-owner retired and a new owner came in. I stopped by once and haven’t been in the shop since.

At this time I was working as a SAP CRM consultant for 7 years so I had seen a couple of CRM implementations going very good and some terrible wrong. And the implementation of the new store-owner was one of the “terribly wrong” examples.

He was not managing any of his relationships; I never got a call or email from him and he was not interested in what I liked and more important what I did not like.

A relationship is a two-way-street; you scratch my back, I scratch your back. And the new store owner definitely did not scratch my back so I did not scratch his. 

Bleep, Bleep….it’s 2014

I do not believe in relationships between organizations and people. I do believe in relationships between two people where one of them is working for an organization selling something and the other one wants to buy something. They partner up and if the selling party manages the relationship in the right way both their backs are being scratched.

The most important word in the last paragraph is the word “People”. As an organization you can implement every CRM tooling that you want, but if your people (Sales, Service, Finance, HR, Logistics, Marketing etc.) do not understand what the importance is of managing a good relationship with their partners and/or customers their backs will never scratched as well.

So think about it... Are you scratching backs properly?

p.s. last weekend I walked past the store again and it was empty, it was shut down, it went bankrupt… You do the math!