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The concept of customer relationship management (CRM) resonates with managers in today's competitive economy. Yet recent articles in the business press have described CRM implementation failures, and consequent company reluctance to invest in CRM. The potential for substantially improved customer relationship management, coupled with the high uncertainty surrounding failed implementation efforts, calls for a critical new look at the determinants of, and influences upon, a firm's decision to adopt CRM. This paper responds by underscoring the criticality of performing a deep analysis of a firm's readiness to undertake a CRM initiative. We suggest that this assessment provide detailed answers to two fundamental questions: What is a firm's current CRM capability? And what changes must be in place before embarking on a CRM initiative? A model to assess readiness is developed based upon the premise that business value is enhanced through the alignment of complementary factors occurring along three dimensions, intellectual, social, and technological.