by CIO Staff

CRM: Challenges and Advice for CIOs in 2007

Jan 02, 20072 mins
CRM Systems

A new year brings new challenges for CIOs. Determining which areas to focus on and which to bypass can make or break your business. Global management consultancy Accenture recommends several steps you can take that will help distinguish your business from your competition.

Accenture conducted a customer loyalty study in 2006 and found that nine out of 10 consumers will switch vendors if given the right incentive, and six out of 10 have already changed service providers in one industry or another.

“It’s clear the CRM landscape is evolving rapidly,” says Woody Driggs, managing director of CRM at Accenture. “Keeping up with the changing customer environment is a real challenge.”

To remain competitive, Driggs says, “CIOs have to be ahead of business needs on architecture. They need to focus on what processes and capabilities the business should be rolling out. Translate that insight into foresight; what technologies do you need to give customers what they will need?”

The CIO has to help the business figure out what technologies need to be in place to ensure a consistent experience for the customer and to help his business leaders move to the next level, he adds.

Accenture’s CRM recommendations for companies overall include:

• Striking a balance in how they use resources to market to the most valuable consumer segments; 

• Distinguishing themselves through customer interactions that support a branded customer experience; 

• Pumping up sales productivity by mapping processes to new technologies;   

• Setting sales goals and establishing rewards for meeting them; compensating the sales team consistently;   

• Narrowing the gap between customer expectations and the actual service experience;

• Using analytics tools to gain a deeper understanding of the actual intentions of customers in their own words.   

“CIOs in particular need to understand business analytics and focus on what the business will need to take it to the next level,” concludes Driggs.

-Shawna McAlearney