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Avoiding CRM failure

How can my company avoid CRM failure?
Succeeding with CRM doesn't require you to spend a lot of money on analyst reports, nor does it require you to hire a Big 5 firm to figure out a complex, highly risky strategy. What success is all about, quite simply, is doing the right thing for your customers. And where do you find out what the "right thing" is? Not from industry analysts, nor major CRM vendors, and not from expensive consulting firms, but from your customers. Just ask them! Because in today's market they -- not you -- are increasingly "managing" the relationship. The other key to success is starting small and working incrementally.

Succeeding with CRM doesn't have to be a multi-year, multi-million dollar engagement. Everyone stubs his/her toe a few times when getting started, but if millions of dollars are at stake, that toe is really going to hurt. So start by doing the little things that your customers want, which will have the greatest impact on both their loyalty and your bottom line, and which will demonstrate to your company that this "CRM stuff" really does work.
This was last published in August 2003

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