Do’s and Don’ts of CRM
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that the customer service industry is truly the king of the 3-letter acronyms. Today’s acronym is “CRM,” or customer relationship management.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and covers all aspects of the customer journey, from the first clickthrough to customer satisfaction surveys to the customer loss analysis. A more complete definition of CRM:
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels — or points of contact between the customer and the company — which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing materials and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
In the call center context, CRM usually refers to software involving the prospect and customer database, including interaction and loyalty data. Popular CRM brands include Salesforce, Zoho, SAP and Insightly. CRM software consolidates all the customer information into a single database so that businesses can easily access, manage and analyze it. Common features of CRM software include: marketing automation, sales enablement automation, contact center automation and location-based services.
Making the most of your CRM
When selecting a CRM system to implement, as with any enterprise software decision, many organizations fall victim to common pitfalls. Below is an infographic detailing some do’s and don’ts when it comes to making the most of your CRM system. We would add the following do’s for your consideration:
- Do engage the end users in the decision-making process. Having excitement and buy-in from the end users will make training and transition a breeze.
- Do engage both technical and operations users in the requirements-building process. IT will have technical requirements, and Operations will be able to lay out the types of reporting required to improve business processes. You might also involve the Sales and Marketing departments as well.
- Do consider types of access. Will the users only access from desktops? Or will they be using mobile devices? If so, which devices and how often? If mobile access is key, make sure that your CRM candidates meet your end user needs.
- Do make a choice based on functionality rather than price. The cheapest solution isn’t always the best for your organization; neither is the most expensive. Make the decision based on realistic requirements and growth possibilities rather than exclusively on price.