A successful CRM system starts with an understanding of the processes you want to improve. Automation, such as CRM, won't fix an inefficient process. For this analysis, it is important that someone at your company looks at your business operation as a whole. If such a person doesn’t exist, then pay an outside expert or, better, find a CRM vendor who will take the time to fully understand your processes and needs and get all team players involved, right from the start.
Today's CRM is better than yesterday's because: (a) CRM systems can now deliver greater productivity returns and (b) vendor's software usability is much improved. These advancements (and others) mean less time and lower costs to implement a CRM system. And the more people in a given company who use a CRM system translates to more benefits and a higher ROI on a CRM investment.
Improvements in CRM technology, however, do not guarantee success. Much of CRM's bad reputation is due to users not fully understanding their processes and not asking the right questions when shopping for a CRM.
If you are about to be a first-time CRM user, or you are a current CRM user looking for help with your disappointing CRM, here are ten questions to ask a CRM provider:
- Will the CRM solution help to acquire customers, keep customers, and grow overall company revenue? These goals are tied as the top two priorities over the next twelve months for 73% of decision makers at large global companies.
- Will the CRM solution accommodate rising customer expectations and improve customer satisfaction? These goals are the third most important priority (68%).
- Will the CRM solution bring together multichannel customer interactions, such as Ecommerce and website searches?
- Will the CRM solution help to better manage fragmented customer interaction processes, such as customer onboarding, order administration, loan processing, and customer service?
- Will the CRM provider offer mobile solutions for smart phones and tablets that improve employee productivity?
- Will the CRM solution include social channels to support customer engagement for market research, communications, customer self-service, and product development?
- Will the CRM solution make use of big data from social media and other sources?
- Will the CRM solution allow flexibility for CRM software-as-a-service?
- Will the CRM solution coordinate customer feedback so all employees understand customer expectations in terms of how their decisions affect business?
- Will the CRM provider: (a) take the time to fully understand your needs, (b) get all of your users onboard, (c) train all users, and (d) offer value-added products to enhance your CRM system for your future needs? In other words, make sure you get a vendor who will start you right and will be there as you grow.
In other words, make sure you get a vendor who will start you right and will be there as you grow.
By addressing these questions and ensuring their answers, you are setting yourself up for a successful CRM implementation. Blindly jumping into a CRM system is the number one cause for the disdain for CRM; it is not the fault of the solution, rather the initial misunderstanding of the expected outcome and the possibilities of the setup. If you would like more information on CRM implementation, please call 1-800-897-9807 ext 224.