Useful CRM – not an oxymoron?

On my geek pilgrimage to understanding social networking in the context of travel behaviour change I keep ending up at CRM (Client Relationship Management) sites – generally flogging a process and software, but as Jay Deragon reports on his Relationship Economy blog:

Our friend and colleague Doc Searls writes: I just learned by the Ajatus Manifesto that sixty-five percent of all CRM systems fail. Ajatus blames companies rushing to implement CRM. I’m sure that’s true. But I also think it’s possible that CRM itself is flawed by the closed and silo’d nature of the “relationships” involved. As a customer I can only relate to company CRM systems on the companies’ terms. Not on ones that I provide as well — for the good of us both. In other words, the base problem is that the lack of customer independence as a base condition for the relationship in the first place.

The answer (apparently) is VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management – which I am still trying to get my head around – is it still emperor’s new clothes or a genuine breakthrough?

As we develop our CRM I want confidence that the crash and burn of existing CRM systems is noted – you see, that’s why people think I am an optimist.

(Jay’s previous post on Conversational Rivers is pretty good – and anyone who is a mate of Doc Searles is OK with me 🙂 )

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