I was in the Police Commission for 11 years. I learned early on that cops are people no different than you and me. And once in a while they disagree with one another. The guys in my generation told me, "When we had problems, we used to hash them out in the locker room, and we'd come out smiling. Today, these young guys communicate with their thumbs, sitting in the squad car on their phones. Then they wonder why they argue and stay mad for weeks.
Sometimes I feel the same way about CRM projects. We just need to hash it out like human beings.
I was working with a client recently to test a new feature. I knew that if I could just do the testing one on one with a power user, we could bang it out in an hour. But, instead, we communicated over email and it took three weeks. Too many people got involved, and it didn't go well.
Many years ago, I did a deployment for a client, and they wanted a quote for an integration. I told them it was impossible to quote tying three systems together because it would be like taking a book in Spanish and converting it to French. And I only speak English.
However, I told the client, "If I can get in a room with the person who wrote the other system, I'll have it done before lunch." She took me up on the offer.
I sat in the room with another guy. I didn't know him; I didn't know his system. He didn't know mine.
It went something like this: "Let me do my thing. I hit my button. Try it. Did it work? No. What didn't work? Okay, let me try this. Boom, it works!" We went back and forth like that. We finished the project at 11:45 AM.
This was a monster integration project that any IT guy would quote for $10k, and we got it done in time for lunch. The key was two-way communication.
Sometimes I will get an email with a list of customization requirements from a client that looks overwhelming and prohibitively expensive. Yet, when we actually talk about them in person, I find out that most of the most difficult changes don't even matter to the client. On the phone, they can freely explain the end goal and the "why" in ways they couldn't express in an email. We just need to talk it through together.
Or they are referring to one field while I am thinking of another one. Instead of trading messages back and forth and perhaps heading down the wrong path, we just need to look at the screen together, "Do you mean this field right here? Yes." That can be resolved in 5 seconds.
Is Modern Better?
I admit that I cringe a little bit with all this new, modern technology that focuses on chatbots and texting.
I watched the Microsoft Ignite sessions and saw that you can make yourself a real-life avatar. So when you have a meeting, and you didn't shower, you can put your avatar on the screen. It is cool, but it is just one more way that we remove the human touch.
At the end of the day, sometimes it's better for everyone to just talk to each other. It is not just about being polite; you can actually save money by incorporating more of the old-fashioned human touch.
Let's just get on the phone and hash this out, keep a simple problem simple and not turn it into a big expensive project.
If you want to work with a CRM partner that will look for ways to incorporate the human touch and keep things simple, let's talk.
By Steve Pestillo, P2Automation,