Let’s begin by defining “passion”. The root of this word is Latin, “pati”, which means “to suffer”.
Surprised? I was, when I learned this definition. The meaning of “passion” as we know it today is:
“An intense or extreme affection, enthusiasm, or interest for an object or concept.” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passion)
When someone asks you “What are you passionate about?”, remember that it is that one thing that makes you suffer, and that you enjoy the suffering that it brings.
“Passion” explains my relationship with CRM. This subject has expanded over time and I aim to explore topics that are associated with it, in this blog. This is a place for sharing my experiences so it is based on my personal experience and, therefore entirely my opinion.
Today, many upstream and downstream systems work together to orchestrate an end to end business process, enabling the enterprise to streamline their customers journey. CRM as a platform provides that unique, holistic view of the customer – as required by specific user roles, across the enterprise and is centered around providing a “Single View of the Customer” to the end user. “Single View of the Customer” or “360-degree view of the customer” is an old concept and is used by several CEO’s or senior advisors as the ultimate CRM objective. However, I believe each user needs to see a “Single View of the Customers Truths”, this would enable the user to have the right perception of the customer, based on what is needed for their role. Nevertheless, CRM has become the platform for knowing the customer and streamlining processes for each user’s role across the business. This coupled with a simple user journey, drives customer experience and aids adoption of processes built around a customer centric operational model. Whether the business is looking increase productivity or drive customer experience, CRM as a tool, can be designed to deliver both sides of the coin, customer journey and user journey.
I started working with CRM in 2005. My first role was with Siebel CRM as a support analyst. I was surprised at the number of applications the company developed in-house for simple functions like, bulk account reassignment, address change and task management all aimed at simplifying the job for administrators of the system. Although, these applications did improve the productivity for the system administrators, but they did not add any value to the everyday user of the system, or the customer. Since then, my career journey has taken me through several products and projects, today, technology is moving from a CAPEX to more of an OPEX operating model.
Through this journey working with different organisations, I have become more familiar with CRM as a concept, and understand different project methodologies used to deliver a successful solution. I understand the importance of sound project governance, project methodology, agile principles and the importance of good communication structure and good change management in any CRM program. In my opinion, a “good” implementation of CRM leaves room for improvement, scalability, innovation and at its core is follows the “KIS” theme a.k.a keep it simple. An “acceptable” implementation is mostly aimed at solving current challenges, building structures and models to support the immediate requirements. Hence, a bad implementation is what was termed “acceptable” a year ago by the business.
My CRM product portfolio includes Siebel, Sage, Goldmine, Oracle and now I am predominantly focused on Microsoft CRM now known as Dynamics 365.
This experience, complemented by the functional and deep technical understanding of the product, has shaped the knowledge of CRM I have today. My experience encourages the belief that CRM is the heart of an organisation, it should enable business strategy and provide sufficient customer knowledge, to improve productivity and customer experience. I believe, CRM coupled with AI, IOT, and Intelligent Automation can add value to any organisation and this drives my passion further today then when I first started as a support analyst.