This is the second of three posts related to the “Been there, done that” thinking of Customer Relationship Management.
Let me begin by saying I have the utmost respect for IT people! If you have never lived in the IT world let me give you a quick glace at what they face on a regular basis:
Computers and computing systems have become business critical, so critical that many IT people are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Most upgrades and installations are scheduled for nights, weekends and holidays
IT is frequently blamed when things don’t go well or when a computer/system fails, and they are seldom praised when things work
Technology and software is changing at an alarming rate, and many IT people are expected to be experts on all software systems, the moment they come out
Why am I telling you this? Because, even though your IT people work hard at keeping your systems up to date and functioning, they may not be the best people for driving customer-focused change within your organization.
I am frequently asked “isn’t software selection and implementation the job of our IT department?” The answer to that is no. Your IT department should have input into the software selection process, but they should not be making the selection. The selection needs to be made based on your company’s CRM needs, and should be made by someone that is customer facing and that will ultimately be using the software. While you may have the best IT department in the United States, they are still IT, not sales, marketing or customer service. They do not talk to the customer, and most likely do not understand Customer Relationship Management from your business-strategy point-of-view.
As far as implementation of software, it is task of IT to assist in the CRM software implementation, but I would not ask someone who is unfamiliar with a product to implement it. The goal would be to have the consultant implement and train the IT in the support and maintenance of the CRM software. The main role IT in the CRM implementation is to help with the data integration to other systems and to ensure the data integrity of the links between CRM and other systems.
Remember, implementation of software is just a small component of a CRM system implementation. The other areas affected are your business culture and process.