The technology requirements of a CRM strategy must be guided by an overall view of who is the customer and what value they are to get from engaging with the organization.
The basic building blocks:
A database for customer lifecycle (time series) information about each customer and prospect and their interactions with the organization, including order information, support information, requests, complaints, interviews and survey responses.
Customer Intelligence - Translating customer needs and profitability projection into game plans for different segments or groups of customers, captured by customer interactions (Human, automated or combinations of both) into software that tracks whether that game plan is followed or not,and whether the desired outcomes are obtained.
Business Modeling - Customer Relationship Strategy, Goals and outcomes: Numbers and description of whether goals were met and models of customer segments and game plans worked as hypothesized.
Learning and Competency Management Systems - Customer Capacity and Competency Development - Training and improving processes and technology that enable the organization to get closer to achieving the desired results. Complex systems require practice in order to achieve desired outcomes, especially when humans and technology are interacting. Iteration is the key to refining, improving and innovating to stay ahead of the competition in Customer Relationship Management. (Successful tools, technology and practices will be copied by the competition as soon as they are proven successful.)
Analytics and quality monitoring - Voice recognition, video pattern matching, statistical analysis, activity-based costing to ultimately determine profitability of customer relationship policies and activities over the lifecycle of each group of customers sharing a defined set of characteristics.
Collaboration and Social networks - Profiling and interactive technology that allows the customers to interact with the business and their fellow customers and others: prospective customers, strategic partners.
The building blocks can be implemented over time separately, but eventually need to be dynamically coordinated. The ongoing alignment of the basic building blocks distinguishes an elegant seamless CRM implementation which successfully builds mutually valuable relationships