“There’s no technology or strategy that aligns with its acronym better than CRM,” says Grand Canyon University Ph.D. candidate J. C. Quintana.
Quintana approaches the acronym academically in sessions he half-jokingly refers to as “relationship counselling for companies.”
In those sessions, he uses a pre-composed framework to open dialogues between companies struggling to implement their CRM systems.
Beginning with the problem they’re trying to solve, he and his clients walk through their current situation and explore the steps they can take toward possible solutions. Then, when they determine which outcome they hope to achieve, they develop expectations for themselves and their partners that, when met, will take them there. Because relationships are based on expectations, Quintana explains, creating those expectations together allows the parties to form – or repair – their relationship.
Quintana shares his specific “relationship counselling” strategies in a course taught at 26 universities across the United States. His class introduces the “human element of problem-solving,” he says, and how it delivers on the promise of “a great customers experience.”
“Projects fail because the parties involved don’t understand the components of their relationships,” Quintana says. “(The parties must understand) the needs of the humans trying to solve a problem, their circumstances, their characteristics, and their capacities to be able to do things.”
So, when building a successful corporate relationship, having fancy tech isn’t the most critical factor. Time and attention are.
Dr. Jeffrey Hall of the University of Kansas’ Department of Communication Studies and Dr. Andy J. Merolla of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Department of Communication found that it takes around 60 hours for two compatible people – like company reps – to form a relationship.
Connecting with company representatives on a personal level is crucial. First, however, organizations must be aware of their own employees’ needs.
During the pandemic, Quintana says he saw many companies trying to solve human problems with technology. They didn’t have the capacity to succeed, but they didn’t know their own needs well enough to recognize that.
It’s not enough to implement technology and move on, he explains. We have to use that technology to build relationships.