The 3 Biggest Disasters in CRM History

If done right, CRM can have huge benefits for a company's success.

biggest disasters in CRM

It can help to turn leads into sales, encourage repeat purchases and help with branding strategy. Many companies also find their CRM systems vital for dealing with customer complaints efficiently. However, to be effective CRM needs to be selected and implemented correctly. Poor use of CRM can lead to public relations nightmares and even the biggest disasters in CRM history. In the worst cases, these calamities can completely bankrupt firms. It is therefore vital to get your CRM strategy as watertight as possible.

Hershey’s Bitter Experience In The Sweets Market

American chocolate manufacturer Hershey was facing competition from all sides. Seeing its market share eroding, it naturally reached out to ERP and CRM providers to shape up its client-relations and boost its profits. However, things didn’t go entirely to plan. Hershey is a big company and believed they needed a large-scale solution, so they went and purchased a $112 million (£75 million) CRM system from Siebel. Unfortunately this system proved too cumbersome and complex for Hershey’s suppliers and production line. The stream of sweet treats ground to a halt, resulting in a frozen factory and thousands of disappointed customers.

Alongside poor choice of a CRM system, Hershey also made a rookie timing error. Instead of working out a low-risk time of year to make wholesale changes, they timed their CRM implementation just before Halloween. Being one of the year’s biggest chocolate binges, this made Hershey’s CRM nightmare even more disastrous for the company.

Blackberry’s Communications Breakdown

What happened to Blackberry is another one of the biggest disasters in CRM history. Once upon a time everyone had a Blackberry device to stay in touch with friends and colleagues. Nowadays, a Blackberry is merely a collector’s item. One major factor in the firm’s demise was a bad CRM implementation. In 2011, Blackberry experienced issues with its email services, resulting in freezes for users in some regions.

However, a localised crisis became a company-wide fiasco when users sought answers from Blackberry’s help services. Instead of using CRM to send clear messages about what was wrong and what they were doing about it, Blackberry relied on Facebook, failing to realise how many customers were affected. That was the beginning of the end, and customers have been abandoning Blackberry ever since.

British Airways’ Twitter Fails

British Airways are well known for quality in-flight services and lousy customer service. One of the main reasons for this dodgy reputation is their long history of CRM failures. British Airways are infamous for their inability to use Twitter to connect with disgruntled customers. Every day, people take to their Twitter feed to broadcast their conversations with real and automated British Airways support staff. These Twitter broadcasts are rarely positive. One of the biggest problems with firms like British Airways is that they promise a great deal (24 hours a day customer service), yet so often fail to deliver. They routinely take over 6 hours to respond to customer queries. This causes customers to do what they do best and tweet about the poor service. Before British Airways can do anything about it, news of their poor service has gone viral.

How to Avoid These Biggest Disasters In CRM

Hershey’s expensive solution, Blackberry’s confusing messaging and British Airways’ slow-moving customer help team – not the way you want to go. Avoid the likes of these biggest disasters in CRM: talk to Flowbird and come up with a winning CRM strategy that is cost effective and efficient.

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2018-10-27T09:07:00+00:00
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