What Does Your Service Cloud Implementation Partner Think ‘CRM’ Means


JUNE 2015


In a recent whitepaper we identified twelve questions to ask your service cloud implementation partner. The first of those questions is “What does the partner think ‘CRM’ means?” This is not a trick question. Of course everyone knows CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management (or sometimes Constituent Relationship Management in government circles). But as customer relationships have become more strategic, the CRM software category has expanded to include multiple subcategories including sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation and customer service.

If you are looking for a Service Cloud implementation partner, you are most likely focusing on the customer service segment of CRM. However, at this point in the evolution of CRM, many more companies use the term “CRM” to mean sales force automation rather than customer service. In addition, there have been many more sales force automation implementations than customer service implementations. Consequently, most CRM implementation partners are actually sales force automation Implementation partners.

Even though sales force automation and customer service both involve customers, it is about the only similarity between these two systems. The users are different, the user interfaces are different, the data models are different, the business processes are different, scalability and availability requirements are different, and integration requirements are different.

Take the users for example.  Historically, one of the biggest challenges of deploying SFA has been getting sales reps, especially field sales reps, to actually use the system.  Contact center agents on the other hand usually ‘live’ in their agent desktop – they simply cannot do their jobs without it.  Furthermore, customer service deployments often have another class of users who are not even employees – end customers who use the self-service customer portal.  What could be more different between these two sets of users?

Just because a CRM implementation partner is excellent at deploying sales force automation does not mean it understands contact center operations from the agent’s perspective, or how critical self-service is to overall customer satisfaction. If your prospective partner thinks ‘CRM’ means ‘SFA,’ chances are they will not have the necessary skills and expertise to implement your Service Cloud in a way that will enable you to meet your business and service level objectives.

If you would like to learn more about what other questions you should be asking your service cloud implementation partner, click the image below to download a free copy of the whitepaper.

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