March 21, 2018
We live in a world where customer relationships are key to business success. With the high cost of new customer acquisition, retention is now of maximum importance. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions enable businesses to enrich interactions with their current and prospective customers, creating long lasting and value-based relationships.
However, simply making an investment in CRM doesn’t always guarantee a return on investment. There are some common CRM mistakes which reduce the positive impact that such a system might bring. We’ve put together a few pointers to help ensure that your business avoids the pitfalls enabling you to get the most out of your CRM solution.
Get user buy-in
Experience and research confirms that CRM technology only delivers real business value when Users properly understand the system. They must articulate how CRM benefits the organisation in which they’re employed, but they also need to derive personal value from using it. If it doesn’t empower them in some way or make their lives easier, Users are unlikely to adopt this new way of working.
Users need thorough training to help them realise personal benefits from using the system if they are to adopt a new way of working and really embrace the essence of CRM.
Don’t over complicate it
It is important that the system configuration maintains a simple focus, without over complicating it. The user interface should only provide access to the necessary features, functions and information. Any areas that aren’t required should be removed to help avoid confusion.
Secure senior level sponsorship
It’s important that the adoption of CRM has senior sponsorship within the business.
During and beyond the training phase, Managers must establish an ethos and create an environment in which staff can easily appreciate the importance of building rich and meaningful client relationships.
Dashboards and reporting may be used to provide visibility to management in terms of how Users are adopting the system on an ongoing basis, with training plans and operational processes adjusted as necessary.
Ensure data quality
Good CRM technology cannot fix poor quality data. The system should be configured to support the gathering of accurate and relevant data.
This means establishing best practices for data management across the business but also using the CRM system’s validation features to minimise the potential for erroneous data entry.
Data should be regularly cleansed to ensure the information is correct and up to date (and in compliance with legislation including GDPR where appropriate). Employees often change positions in a business or move on, so regular checks ensure client information is accurate. This also ensures that marketing activities are more successful when targeting the right person in the right role. Incorrect contact information will lead to a high bounce rate or unsubscribes at best, but could lead to complaints and a damage to your brand.
Plan for reporting outputs
CRM presents Users with an opportunity to record any data that is important to support client relationship management. This might typically include information captured within fields, notes and activity histories, copies of emails, documents and other data elements.
However, many user organisations miss the opportunity for CRM to support decision making, measure performance against key indicators and fine-tune targeting through data analysis.
It is important to begin thinking about the outputs that might be useful right at the start of the implementation process. This is because the desired outputs are likely to impact upon the design and configuration of the system.
To ensure valuable data output, carefully manage data inputs through design, validation and training.
CRM is a powerful tool and once used correctly will enable you to gain an insight into all areas of your business by discovering buying patterns, issues, sales performance, staff performance and so much more. Don’t allow simple and avoidable user mistakes hold back the performance of your system, preventing you from reaping the benefits.
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