The announcement that BT will make on demand CRM software available for SMEs clearly puts it at odds with much bigger competitors like Salesforce.com.
But the success of BT’s CRM software will face one major obstacle – UK SMEs.
It is slightly worrying that BT quotes research which says that only 43% of UK SMEs believe that client relationships is the most critical factor to their success.
Without clients you don’t have a business!
While I hope the research is unrepresentative of the attitudes UK businesses have towards delivering first class customer service, I can’t help think there’s a bit of truth in it.
Unlike our friends across the Atlantic, I personally don’t think marketing and selling is as closely ingrained in UK culture, while for those in the US it’s practically a way of life.
Take a look at the following US site:
It’s a very straightforward application that Starbucks uses to poll customers about what ideas they’d like to see in stores. The ideas that get the most votes from other customers get implemented and customers are encouraged to criticise other people’s ideas.
Now find me a UK company that’s done something that straightforward and which has delivered real results to the business.