Failure Analysis: Customer Relationship Management

Failure Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Customer relationship management (CRM) Is “an Information system that combines methodologies, software, and the Internet to help an organization establish stronger customer relations with customers” (Add, 2007, p. 296, Para. 1). Through human involvement and information technology, CRM allows organizations to gain insight into customer demographics and market trends. Additionally, CRM helps organizations enhance their customer service, improve call center efficiency, allow more effective cross selling, simplify sales transactions, and personalize customer legislations (Add, 2007).

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Despite Cram’s potential benefits, CRM implementation can fail for various reasons. This paper will provide an example off failed CRM implementation at Citizens National Bank, the causes for the Cram’s failure, and the lessons Citizens National Bank learned from this failure. Citizens National Bank Is a small community bank outside of Dallas, Texas. In 2001, Citizens National Installed a CRM system from Siebel Systems. Prior to Installing the CRM system, the bank tracked Its customer contact activities on paper. Mark Singleton, president and Chief

Executive Officer of Citizens National, hoped that the CRM system would Increase sales and improve customer information tracking (Bartholomew, 2007). Causes for Failure Citizens National experienced problems with the CRM system from inception. The system offered features that the bank did not need. For example, the CRM system offered a feature to set up customer support cases with complaint and resolution tracking. Citizens National did not need this feature because its service complaints were immediately handled by the call center.

As result, employees spent too much time disabling functions they did not need (Bartholomew, 2007). Another Issue with the CRM system was Its complexity. The system was difficult for employees to navigate. For example, certain features were not enabled for customers unless an employee assigned those features to the customer. Otherwise, the system would not display the feature under the customer’s record. Additionally, employees had to switch between different screens to identify the varying relationships customers had with the bank.

These issues caused some confusion for employees (Bartholomew, 2007). Additionally, Citizens National experienced problems integrating the CRM system with its existing banking software. For example, customer data fields were set up differently in each system. The new system had individual fields for the customer’s first and last names, whereas the existing banking software had only one field to include the customers full name. As a result, integrating the two systems was time-consuming and difficult (Bartholomew, 2007).

Finally, and perhaps most Important, Citizens Nationalist CRM system may have failed because of employees’ lack of support. The bank’s top bankers were reluctant to adapt to the new system and found the system difficult to use. Employees did not realize the value of using the system. ND it did not work as employees would have supported the system (Bartholomew, 2007). Lessons Learned After struggling with the Siebel CRM system for three years, Citizens National decided to abandon the project in 2004. The banks employees did not realize any benefit from the CRM system.

The bank decided to discontinue the project because there was no return on it. Citizens National suffered a $500,000 loss on the system, $1 50,000 on the system’s costs and $350,000 in integration costs (Bartholomew, 2007). Citizens National learned that different business processes determine what businesses need. The bank did not need many of the Siebel system’s features. The bank decided to try a hosted application called Sickbays, which was more flexible and easier to use. Users can customize the system without needing an IT professionals help.

Because Sickbays is affordable, flexible, easy to use, runs online with any browser, and does not require an IT professional to set it up, the application is gaining popularity among businesses. Citizens National integrated Sickbays with the banks core banking application, which has helped the bank more efficiently track its customers (Bartholomew, 2007). Citizens National also decided to help ease the banks transition into using Sickbays by placing human buffers between the bankers and the new system.

The bankers tended to be older and unfamiliar with technology, so each banker was assigned a transcription agent to log information into Sickbays. This approach allowed bankers to spend time on other tasks more strongly suited to their skill sets (Bartholomew, 2007). Conclusion Customer relationship management systems are extremely useful in establishing stronger customer relationships. CRM helps organizations build strong relationships y providing a better understanding of what customers value.

However, CRM implementation can fail, as evidenced in the Citizens National Bank case. Problems can occur with CRM implementation such as unnecessary features, system complexity, integration problems, and lack of employee support. After struggling with an expensive, complex CRM system for three years, Citizens National realized that it did not need a complex, multi-feature CRM system for its small business. Sickbays, an affordable, flexible, easy to use hosted application, was better able to serve the banks needs and was more welcomed by employees.