In 1972 Fram Oil Filters ran commercials on television talking about their oil filters. A mechanic was usually under a car working. He talks about how a Fram Oil filter costs $4.00 and the cost of the repairs he was doing on the car that didn’t replace their oil filter was $200.00. He ends by holding up a Fram Oil Filter and says “You can pay me now,” then holds up a piston and says, “or, you can pay me later.” The ad was a huge success, and makes a great point: Not properly doing the small things typically leads to bigger things.
Nothing could be more spot-on when it comes to implementing CRM. You can choose to plan for user adoption and process integration before you implement, or after, but you will have to deal with it, and if you don’t you will most likely:
- Frustrate your users
- Blame the software
- Achieve minimal results
Another saying comes to mind, this one from Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” I’m not saying you have to spend years on your planning before implementing CRM, but you should take a good look at your culture and process to see if they support CRM. It’s also a good idea to look at your reporting requirements before-hand to ensure the necessary data points are there, and the entry of these pieces of data are part of a documented process.
I’m frequently asked about the culture piece. “How does culture support CRM?” First let’s look at what culture is: A community of individuals with common beliefs and behaviors. Ultimately, if people do not believe in what CRM is, and you do not have the supporting behaviors in place before implementing CRM, you will not have them after implementing CRM. CRM software is not a magic wand that will automatically change your culture.
Whether you have already implemented CRM and are frustrated with your results, or you are looking to implement CRM, take some time to document your current culture in relation to CRM (and your customers) and make note of those processes that will need to be modified to integrate CRM into people’s everyday life. You will be pleased with the results. It’s never too late!
I’m here to help. If you have an issue you would like to run by me, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d be happy to assist.