There’s nothing that endears long time employees to management quite like being told one day, “We’ve decided on a new CRM system. Your login will be emailed to you. Your training is scheduled for next Wednesday.”
In 2011, Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School wrote about the IKEA Effect as it pertains to consumer products. With IKEA products, there’s often some simple assembly required. The “effect” part is that people usually put a higher valuation on something they assemble themselves.
Think back to any successful DIY project you’ve completed. You probably feel a certain level of pride every time you look at or use your creation.
The Wikipedia article on the IKEA Effect defines it as, “a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created.”
Applying the IKEA Effect to Organizations
So, how does this B2C sales and marketing revelation apply to business technology purchases such as CRM?
It involves getting representative end users involved in the requirements definition process. While end users will not actually be building the end system the way a consumer designing their apparel online, end user input can be visible in the CRM system when it’s rolled out.
End user input is often based on first-hand experiences of inefficiencies that cause frustration and decrease productivity. For example, if there’s information that’s currently difficult to locate but that could be easily tracked and found in a CRM system, it would make the employee happier and more productive. Or, there are recurring processes that would flow much better with automated task assignments.
In the B2C world, according to Norton, there’s a marketing challenge involved “in convincing consumers to engage in the kinds of labor that will lead them to value products more highly, especially given their general aversion to such pursuits.”
Because there’s easier access to internal employees than to external consumers, it’s much less of a challenge to get end users to engage in the assembly process. In fact, most employees will jump at the chance to air their pains and suggest what would relieve those pains.
The IKEA Effect, a.k.a. “pride of authorship” is a very important component of a successful CRM planning and selection process. This can, of course, extend to any type of enterprise technology in which end users have a stake.