CRM disasters

3 biggest disasters in CRM history and what to learn from them?

“Can you suggest a CRM that actually works?”


“The pandemic is getting in my way of delivering a personalized customer experience and affecting my business. We are done spending money unless we find a sales cure.” 


Our first conversation with most of our clients starts with negative feedback on CRM. It is true that not all businesses get to reap the benefits of an AI-powered Customer Relationship Management system. In fact, if you factor in the past data, there is a 60% chance that your CRM will fail.


Today’s CRM systems are intelligent tools. And most are excellent. From high-end CRMs like Salesforce to mid-range CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics and Sugar CRM, these Customer Relationship Management tools will help you communicate, market, and sell smarter and faster. They are capable of creating data-driven insights, seamless marketing experiences that empower you to connect with your customers with zero communication leakage. Be it its ability to integrate with other systems seamlessly or its ability to talk to social media outlets, CRMs come with many features that enable you to make smarter business decisions.


So, why do so many companies struggle to make the most out of their CRM system in spite of investing a great deal of money and effort? Why is there an 18% to 69% chance that your business will not be able to increase customer delight, push more sales, and resolve customer issues faster?

It’s because of the way it’s been configured, implemented, and managed. Let’s build our case with the three biggest disasters in CRM history.


What went wrong with Hershey, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, when they invested in a $112 million CRM system? It stalled Kiss and Jolly Rancher orders worth $100 million to its customers, which cost them a 19 % drop in quarterly profits and an 8 % decline in stock price. Why? Because they strategized it wrong.


The worst thing Hershey’s made was choosing the time around Halloween for CRM implementation instead of picking a low-risk time of the year. The implementation process not only slowed down the business process just when it needed to be more active to meet the chocolate demand but also made the whole system vulnerable. 


The takeaway: This CRM failure could have been prevented by bringing together an effective CRM implementation team and creating a change management plan to make the process easier to manage. So, if you are planning to integrate a CRM into your business, rehashing Hershey’s case would be the best way to make your implementation a success.



Cigna, one of the most prominent healthcare and insurance companies, reported a net loss of US$ 398 million due to CRM implementation failure. Cigna was clearly not ready to adopt the CRM systems with its poor IT infrastructure. The mass migration caused chaos. Cigna members were not able to get hold of their medical coverage information. The customer care department was not ready to solve issues. As a result, Cigna lost 6 percent of its existing customers. Lessons learned: “Be ready when you are ready. Change is good if only your business is open to it,” pointed out by Mr. Dheeraj Verma, the CRM Implementation Specialist at MindIT.

“Getting a 360-degree customer outlook, recognizing care gaps, delivering targeted communications, and responding to high-risk situations is paramount to your business. It’s equally important to understand what changes your business is likely to go through and take the critical steps to be prepared for the change,” explains Verma.


Providing a high-definition customer experience is the key to business success. That’s exactly what went wrong with Blackberry.  Due to its flawed CRM implementation, the company lost its universality and recognition. When a localized and temporary technical glitch took its email and messenger services down, Blackberry used Facebook as a communication channel to reach its customers instead of utilizing its CRM to send personalized responses about how they are ready to commit more to solve the problem. They broke the brand promise at a single blow.


Expert’s thought: Every time your customer faces an error, they expect you to be there on their preferred platform, not the other way round. Brands have several roles to play and solving customers’ problems is one of them. And your CRM system is the bridge to do it.


“Make Stronger bonds. Go above and beyond to support your customer, respond to their “emotional calls.” Leave a meaningful impact. That’s how you use CRM.” Replies Verma. Every time we get a call from our clients, they all essentially ask the same question. “Which CRM is going to be the best fit for my business?” Our very first responsibility is to help them ask the right question. We strongly believe that if implemented and integrated right, any CRM is powerful enough to establish a trusting relationship with your customers and provide an end-to-end view of your business without any blind spots. We believe as long as your CRM implementation is managed by a specialist team and governed by your business objective, choosing the right CRM is not going to be a daunting task.


So if you are planning to talk to one of our best CRM Implementation Specialists, ask us how we can Customize your CRM and offer Training & Support that will increase customer retention rate, improve sales conversion, and grow brand loyalty by mapping client touchpoints sensibly.


Avoid these biggest disasters in CRM: Talk to MindIT and develop a winning CRM strategy that is cost-effective and efficient.

About the Author


Sujoy Roy
(Head – Digital Marketing)


From my teenage time, I had a quench to solve problems and loved leadership. Starting my career in relation management, ignited my passion for managing people. While managing I realized technology needs to be incorporated to keep pace with the changing world & do my work efficiently.