For all the emphasis placed on customer relationships these days, very few large organizations really understand how to manage them. Whether you’re a corporation, a nonprofit or a government agency, chances are that your approach to customer relationships at a system-wide level begins and ends with CRM (customer relationship management) software — yet its implementation rarely does much to foster real relationships. As a consultant, I’ve seen dozens of CRM implementations in a wide range of organizations, and consistently find that they fail more than they succeed. This isn’t the fault of the technology or the CTO, who usually manages it. It’s a result of misguided strategy.The problem is that CRM’s purported goals are vastly different from the way it usually functions in real

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