Study Says End-User Adoption Key Cause of CRM Failure
A recent study by AMR Research found that even among top CRM vendors, 47 percent of companies reported serious challenges with end-user adoption that often put projects in jeopardy.
The report claims that most often, companies bought CRM to meet corporate needs, but failed to take the needs of the end-users (employees, partners, and customers) into account. The AMR Research study revealed that to make CRM really work, there must be a balance between corporate and end-user goals.
"Our analysis concludes that corporations can only achieve benefits from CRM software if end-users see an application as a blessing rather than a curse," Joanie Rufo, research director of customer management strategies at AMR Research, said in a statement.
The study claims that when companies surmount or avoid end-user adoption problems, they can be very successful with their deployments. AMR Research's analysis explains that to increase the odds for success, buyers should plan their implementations from the individual end-user up, and sellers should take more responsibility for CRM's biggest challenge.
The study is a compilation of 80 interviews of the top-12 CRM vendors' premiere reference accounts. Analysis shows that CRM implementations that do not make daily tasks more productive for individuals will not see corporate benefits.
The most-regularly reported inhibitor occurs when end-users can continue to perform their job and still meet their goals without ever touching the system.
From an end-user's perspective, providing knowledge into the system makes them less valuable to the company and augments their fear of being easily replaced in the future. Lindsey Sedano, research analyst and coauthor of the report, says this fear exists mostly in call center agents responsible for solving common customer problems.
"These agents think that if they place their knowledge into the system, they will be phased out in the future--and sometimes this may be the case as some companies look to cut costs," Sodano says. "But if it isn't, executives need to explain to these agents that by pooling their resources they can move on to more interesting issues and will not have to deal with the same customer query over and over."
Lack of executive-level commitment and failure to secure end-user buy-in were also key inhibitors to a CRM implementation's success, the report says.
AMR Research's study results claim that companies that do not implement CRM strategies by making day-to-day tasks more productive for each individual user are constructing an expensive house of cards that will likely topple.