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Wasted information can kick the knees of your CRM efforts

by Scott Wallask

May 28, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network,

I got a new awareness this week that how businesses handle SAP-derived information can trump their CRM approaches.

This understanding comes from own personal experiences with customer service. For example:

• My family recently moved, so we switched Internet plans with the same provider. My personal e-mail account kept getting disabled as part of the transition, which meant several calls through a pretty bad customer service set-up to solve the problems. From a CRM perspective, this company knows I’ve had service problems, should know their response time is terrible based on at least two hours’ worth of total call time, and probably realizes I value e-mail communication because I complain about it the minute it goes down.

• I bought something at a retail store and was asked for my phone number before the attendant scanned the item. Being suspicious about telemarketing calls, I provided a phony number instead. So the store’s CRM system has data for me, but it’s incorrect.

I don’t know if the companies in question have crackerjack or crackpot CRM systems. But I do know that regardless of the technology, they aren’t g etting the most out of their customer interactions. It’s sort of like loading up your iPod and then forgetting about the headphones.

This topic is worth bringing up by those of you involved with CRM project planning or performance improvement, because your technical and functional decisions shouldn’t later be betrayed by misapplied information-gathering.

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