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CRM conflict brews between IT and business

by Scott Wallask

January 20, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAP Experts

A Gartner researcher has made a straightforward observation about CRM efforts these days: Companies must flock to their customers.

So says Gene Alvarez, vice president in Gartner’s CRM research organization, in a recently posted YouTube video.

Organizations will “have to reorganize around the customer in 2011,” Alvarez says, also noting, according to Gartner survey results, that IT and business users share this challenge of organizational change.

However, the IT and business camps differ in what they want to achieve over the next months, Alvarez says:

  • IT users indicate they want to improve customer satisfaction by investing in technology
  • Business users seek an increase in revenue via new sales opportunities through all digital channels

“This is going to cause some friction between what the IT organization is ready to do for 2011 and what the business would like to do for 2011,” Alvarez says.

I wouldn’t want to be in the lunchroom when those two sides start arguing about where to head with the company’s investments.

In the ideal world, we’d all walk hand-in-hand down the Yellow Brick Road and achieve an increase in revenue by boosting customer satisfaction. But you can’t just click your heels and make that happen. That’s why solutions like SAP CRM 7.0 strive for a 360° view of the customer – in other words, all departments working together to paint a complete picture of the customer, not just the perspective that contact center reps garner.

Alvarez’s words act as a warning about CRM landmines if we’re not careful. It will be up to all of us to skip the arm wrestling and instead sculpt an all-encompassing view of our customers such that we can improve the customer experience and the bottom line in harmony.

Follow Scott on Twitter @CRMexpert1.

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