At the last InterAction Share conference held in London, on being asked 'What are the top three things InterAction does for your firm?', the audience responded with: Relationship Management, Marketing and Reporting – in that order.
The difference between firms' viewpoints in Europe and Asia Pacific is interesting. In Asia Pacific, firms often comment that InterAction handles marketing process very well, particularly with an integrated email marketing tool. Some clients are, however, reporting that they are struggling to use the software to help them manage their relationships, due to what they perceive as a lack of reporting functionality.
This got me wondering, what are European firms doing differently to those in Asia Pacific? After careful consideration, I believe it comes down to three things:
I mean this in multiple ways. The UK has had a lot more time, comparatively, with the product than users on in the Asia Pacific region. They have a much larger client base to draw experience and guidance from, and generally have a better understanding of CRM strategies within their teams and the firm at large.
Not all, but most firms in Europe have a much larger resource pool to draw on to ensure their CRM strategies and software is fully supported. I am talking about financial, but also people and technology resource. Business development Directors in Europe tend to understand that CRM is not static, and that it requires constant investment to ensure the software evolves to meet the firm's changing needs.
Generally, firms in Asia Pacific are behind Europe (and the US) when it comes to adopting CRM strategies, processes and software. Perhaps lawyers are not yet comfortable with sharing their contacts. Maybe firms' first attempt at deploying CRM was not properly planned or understood and requires a time-consuming repositioning campaign within the business. Or, the BD Director does not believe it is their responsibility to drive InterAction to support their CRM projects, despite the software being the BD enterprise software for the firm.
The benefit of a CRM system is to use it as a 'Relationship Management' tool, leveraging the reporting to support and manage said relationships. Otherwise, all it will ever be is a glorified marketing software tool.
So, let's look to Europe to help encourage CRM development here in Asia Pacific. Even though a lot of us feel crippled by maturity, resource and mindset, there are many approaches and messages we can adopt to help nudge us in a positive direction. I am here and ready to support you all.