By Barton Goldenberg
In my previous blog post, I provided an example of a Social CRM implementation in which people issues led to the derailment of the implementation. Here, I will provide two examples of a Social CRM implementation in which the people issues were handled well and helped secure very successful implementations.
Publishing Industry Success Story
An international publishing organization established a Super-User group to help launch its Social CRM initiative. This group remained active and engaged throughout the implementation, helping to select Social CRM vendor software. More importantly, each Super User also took on a training role during the system launch to ensure that all users were on board throughout the initiative. In addition, the organization launched a comprehensive communications program from the outset that included issuing a weekly memo that updated potential internal and external users on the status of the initiative and scheduled question-and-answer sessions at key organizational meetings including the organization’s annual meeting, regional sales meetings, and customer service get-togethers. When the time came for Social CRM applications training, to the surprise of the Executive Sponsor, an internal argument ensued between users and the training coordinator as to which users would get trained first. Almost all users were clamoring to take part in the first training session since they couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new Social CRM system. All users eventually got trained and this Social CRM initiative continues to this day to be a raving success.
Lesson learned: Get users involved early on, keep them informed throughout the initiative, and let them manage their own change.
Raw Materials Industry Success Story
An international manufacturer to the raw materials industry, with offices throughout the world, launched their Social CRM initiative with great care and planning. The CEO and COO of this company were 100% behind the initiative, which they felt was critical to achieve a better relationship with their global customers. The COO organized multiple ‘learning sessions’ for the global, Super-user group, who he flew at great expense into one location for each learning session. He also put the Director of Sales Operations as project manager, a wonderful fellow who was well liked by all with the organization. While there were many differing opinions throughout the Social CRM initiative, including for example differing opinions about prioritized business functionality and about which software vendor best met the organization’s needs, the COO and Director of Sales Operations stood side by side at each stage of the implementation to ensure that Super-User group opinions were harmonized and the organization as moved forward in unison. Other than a few technical glitches that resulted from the software vendor overpromising what its software could deliver, this Social CRM implementation went flawlessly and has tremendously impacted growth in sales, which was the key metric for this Social CRM implementation.
Lesson learned: Get the support and involvement of higher management from the start to the end of the Social CRM initiative.
In my next blog post, I will discuss how to secure “People” success for a Social CRM initiative.
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.