Implementing CRM Systems: Managing Change or Accepting Technological Drift?

Implementing CRM Systems: Managing Change or Accepting Technological Drift?

Bendik Bygstad
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-465-1.ch004
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Many companies have large expectations of the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, expecting to harvest benefits from dialogue marketing and internal knowledge synergies. How should these systems be implemented? And how easy do the benefits come? The research approach is a longitudinal, six-year case study of a company implementing CRM both as a marketing principle and as an information system. The implementation was, from the outset, regarded as an organizational experiment, and the case is laid out in some detail to provide a somewhat “thick description” of the social setting and actors’ behavior. The high failure rate of CRM projects illustrates the gap between our intentions and outcomes. Interpreting a longitudinal case study and the research literature, we find two options to improve our practice. From a managerial view, we should treat CRM projects as complex challenges, needing tight project control and the application of change management techniques, focusing on the marketing process and data quality. In contrast, we could accept that the mechanisms at work at the micro level are only partly controllable by management techniques, and we should let the infrastructure grow organically.

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