BPM and CRM Tango

Ashish Mathur







Autor: Ashish Mathur – BPM and CRM Tango


There are two industry terms – BPM and CRM – which people may be playing around separately to play there day to day business games. Let’s understand each one and see if there could be any correlation between the two.

  • BPM is termed as “holistic approach” to promote business effectiveness and efficiency. It promotes innovation, flexibility and integration with technology.
  • CRM is considered as a way for business to connect with their customers, understand them, increase profits and have better customer service.

By having achieved efficiency and effectiveness (BPM); understand customer requirements and better connection to the customer (CRM); both the terms are coined for getting profits for the business ultimately.

As the business world is moving more and more towards service orientation, the question comes how to achieve process efficiencies and do more business with the availability of many services and software around the corner.


One possible answer for this can be CRM with BPM practices

Some of the surveys show that many businesses are struggling to manage customer expectations due to the inability to manage their service requests in a consistent manner. The reason behind this might be that customer service people may have to interact with many systems to service the customer request, which may lead to inconsistency sometimes. The pitfall behind this approach also seems that customer service agents need some training to manage all this complexity of different systems.

One of the best examples of this could be: if a customer asked to add a new member to his insurance plan, then the service agent would have to validate the caller’s identification, and then would have to check his payment history. Finally, she then adds the new member to the policy. Each of these sub processes can be different services which require different systems/tools.

One possibility of improvement at this point could be to combine BPM and CRM which may lead to process and relationship management efficiency. Adding BPM and CRM can cover up gaps which may arise due to the lack of knowledge of different processes and handling with different systems. Another great advantage of this tango could be that it gives the customer relationship agent the same view the customer has, as an outsider (he does not think about different systems). Basically, the customer will act as a process participant in this conjunction who will help in driving the whole process.



Many people are/might be finding it rigid to combine the both, as CRM is considered as easy and BPM as disruptive. It may be a challenging job to show business users the benefits of BPM to them and there customers. One clinch in this is that many CRM vendors claim to have BPM/Workflows already implemented within their solutions, which fosters the image of not to use BPM as a separate identity for the adaptation of efficiency improvement. BPM is more abstract in terms of concrete details than CRM.


Way to Go

If business gets ready to opt for this tango, then the question arises which one and how much: should it be Core CRM with some BPM, or Core BPM with some CRM? Actually, the answer lies in the business nature itself. Some businesses are more process driven than others. Some industries use a robust process driven approach which requires a high level of BPM capabilities raher than CRM, like Insurance or Finance; and some may need more CRM capabilities rather than BPM like in Retail. So it’s up to the business stakeholders which dish they want to pick more. It seems true that use of both in conjunction with each other will take the business efficiencies and do more business to the next level, and so is the business profit.