The use of customer relationship management (CRM) tools among organizations is growing. According to a recent Gartner study, of the $120 billion firms will spend on enterprise applications this year, $13 billion will go toward CRM-based systems and platforms. CRM can help organizations to improve service for clients, customers and members, while saving them money and improving efficiency.
However, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome to achieve a successful CRM deployment. One such obstacle that many organizations face is the potential escalation of political competition among employees, as David Taber of CIO magazine recently highlighted.
Politics in the workplace
In this context, politics does not refer to elections, but rather mudslinging, blame-distribution and credit-taking among workers. Such developments can have an extremely damaging impact on an organization's functions. Political maneuvering and behavior in the workplace can easily lead to hurt feelings, resentment and communication problems, among other issues.
As Taber noted, CRM can have the unfortunate effect of spurring on these types of behavior. This is due to the fact that CRM, when properly deployed, affects every aspect of an organization. Unlike many other tools that have a very specific, limited function, CRM can and should be utilized by workers in a variety of areas. This includes marketing, customer support, sales, management, IT and more. CRM tools will likely have an impact on every aspect of a client, customer or member's relationship with the firm.
Taber asserted that this can lead to disagreements and problems among workers. If something goes awry, it can become easy for one worker to blame another, as everyone will have played some sort of role in the process.
To avoid such an outcome, it is crucial that organizations incorporate all affected departments when considering which CRM system to implement and how to best deploy it. Many problems can arise when a firm leaves a single department, such as IT, in complete control of such an expansive decision. This will likely lead to dissatisfied users, inefficiencies and ultimately blame.
For nonprofit organizations looking to improve their services with advanced CRM, association software may be the best option available. These programs feature integrated tools that can significantly improve an organization's offerings and efficiency.