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Problems and Issues about CRM

The issues or problems involved in the implementation of CRM in financial institutions include high standards that are required if organizations expect efficient and productive CRM systems and desirable results. Overall, if financial institutions wish to obtain desired results from CRM, these organizations must be willing to extend effort and resources to realize the promise of CRM.

“However, despite the growing investments in CRM, there is converging evidence from many sources… that CRM implementation is anything but straightforward and the failure rate of CRM initiatives is high – for example, approximately 70% of CRM projects result in either losses or no bottom-line improvement in company performance… improving understanding of the nature of the CRM process and how to make it work has been a subject of much debate and research in recent years” (Ravi 2007: 161). In general, the challenges of CRM are within three areas of the organization: the business challenge, management challenge, and IT challenge.

The business challenge constitutes the “successful adoption of the system” (Wolenik & Sinay 2008: 21). “It is not enough to just issue a new business policy from management that requires using CRM as part of a business process. Instead, management needs to fully support its

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use. To do this, management should ensure that necessary work is done both before and after implementation to support necessary business processes, customizations, and other requirements that make adoption easier” (Wolenik & Sinay 2008: 21).

Thus, the successful implementation of CRM within the organization relies on its ability to align customer-focused goals and objectives within the general goals and objectives of the organization and the policies and practices that govern different departments within it, including the management level. If the CRM goals and objectives are understood and are shared by everyone within the organization, the organization would most likely move towards the same direction and witness desired results and expectations.

Within the level of management, the greatest challenge is the handling of CRM in all areas of the organization. The primary role of the management is to oversee the implementation process of CRM and monitor operations in order to ensure that the system functions efficiently and productively. Furthermore, the management should also be able to maximize CRM by exhausting all data or information that may be obtained for the organization’s benefit. In addition, the management must be the driving force of the organization in terms of leadership.

The management must fully understand what CRM is seeking to accomplish and be able to lead efforts in all areas and departments to realize these goals and objectives. For instance, the management at the HR department must be able to foresee certain issues that may occur once CRM is implemented, specifically the responses of the staff towards the system. More often than not, employees are resistant to change, which influences the quality of outcomes from CRM. This may be addressed through the leadership of the management.

“The management style of managers at the supervisory level is an important determining factor as to whether CRM implementation efforts will be successful. Since employees often have an inherent aversion to change, these objectives could be increased depending on the management style within a business unit” (Raab, et al. 2008: 119). In terms of the IT challenge, the issues related to this include the organization’s ability to manage CRM through the inclusion of technology.

If a financial institution, with enough resources, decides to implement CRM through technology, the challenges “involve the architecture of the system (including scalability and fault tolerance), the extensibility of the system, and the availability of both tools and people with the skills to support a system” (Wolenik & Sinay 2008: 21). Other challenges to CRM include the lack of understanding of what CRM entails, lack of planning and preparation, lack of integration of CRM goals and objectives to all areas in the organization, and poor planning.

(Riley ND: 1) Moreover, over the years, scholars and professionals have conducted research studies on the many issues that affect CRM implementation and success within organizations. The research studies have yielded significant results and have recommended that if organizations should expect positive results from CRM, they must be able to address the following issues and other similar problems. The following are some of the common issues or problems encountered by organizations during the implementation of CRM.

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