MyCRM Daily CRM News 20112014

Here’s today’s indispensable CRM news.  Utilising CRM to its full potential in practice, and making it work for your business and customers.

You must adopt to achieve

When it comes to the success or failure of a CRM strategy, adoption is key.  There are a number of reasons why a business might not fully adopt or implement a CRM system or strategy, but one of the biggest problems occurs when implementation never has a chance to happen.

Here are some ways to help ensure adoption happens:

  1. Make the experience valuable to end users.  First and foremost, implementing a CRM system and strategy is not a technology project; it’s a business project.  Make it clear how CRM will make life easier for everyone involved.  Overall, CRM implementation should improve the efficiency and effectiveness of users in all departments and improve the customer experience as an end result.

  2. Don’t skimp on comprehensive training.  In many cases, when the CRM strategy isn’t fully adopted or the system is only partially used, it is due to lack of training.  It is difficult to recover from a poor start, so be sure to make a strong start by offering comprehensive training and refreshing that training over time.

  3. Start simple.  Don’t start off using the CRM system to its maximum capacity; instead, keep implementation simple and straightforward.  Many employees won’t want to use the system if they don’t understand it or if it seems too complicated.  Ease into it and build more robust customer files and reports as everyone acclimates to it.

  4. Make sure management is on board.  Never let the staff believe that the use of the CRM system is optional.  This means that everyone from the bottom of the ladder to the top needs to be on board. 

  5. Use it or lose it.  This might be obvious, but if no one uses the CRM system or implements the strategy, it will fail.  Make sure that all departments use the system consistently and work together to integrate their reporting, analysis, and customer management schemes. 

Each and every business will have a unique CRM implementation plan, but these steps should help any business move down the path to success.


CRM: Control impulses by controlling cost

When it comes to the most expensive software requirements, it isn’t the ones that cost a lot to launch – it’s the ones that should have never been started in the first place.  This is particularly true in customer relationship management (CRM).

Excessive CRM customisation requirements are typically caused by these factors:

  • Managers are dazzled by demos and testimonials and are therefore over-optimistic.
  • The manager in charge of finding a CRM solution has done too much to overcome internal opposition.
  • A previous CRM system was over-customised and therefore any subsequent solution also requires a high degree of customisation.
  • Managers are confused about the true nature and capability of the CRM system.
  • Users are too optimistic about the system’s ease of use.

When the ends justify the means

Sometimes, it is a good idea to customise the CRM system and invest in a few bells and whistles.  This is acceptable when it adds value to the business.  For example, if certain expenditures can help to improve revenues, decrease costs, or boost customer loyalty, it may be worth it.  If this is not the case, it may just be an "impulse buy" that only leads to spending more money than is advisable.

Remember, CRM isn’t just about the software a business implements; it is also a strategy.  This means that even with the most robust CRM system, which may have been purchased on a whim, a business could still have dissatisfied customers because they simply do not practise solid CRM strategies to ensure loyal and happy customers.


Use CRM to build customer loyalty and satisfaction

Building a sustainable business depends more heavily on the loyalty of existing customers than it does on adding new clients. However, ensuring repeat business is a big challenge.

Every business owner knows that they need to figure out what customers need and then do it better. These are lofty principles, so it is not really surprising to find that many businesses tend to focus on customer relationship management (CRM) to build customer loyalty. In order to do this successfully, it is useful to know exactly what customer loyalty is.

The first thing business managers must remember is that their CRM system is not worth a thing without a solid customer service strategy in place. In order to lock this down, the differences between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty must be made clear.

A loyal customer is one who will come back to make repeated purchases. However, loyal customers might come back again and again out of necessity, not because they are satisfied. This is more of an enforced loyalty rather than true loyalty. Strong loyalty occurs when a customer actually wants to continue the business relationship.

CRM can be used to help determine what kind of loyalty a customer is exhibiting, and it can also help a business combat enforced loyalty over true loyalty. There are a few ways it can accomplish this. First, CRM can help start conversations with customers, capture data, and track results. It can also help keep track of details that help ensure that customers feel taken care of. Finally, CRM allows businesses to maintain regular follow-ups with customers.


Don’t automate bad practises with CRM

Today, most businesses recognise the financial value that they can gain by improving their customer experience and are now focusing on more efficient customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Despite this, many companies focus too heavily on the CRM technology rather than their overall strategy, which can actually end up hurting the very thing they are trying to enhance: the customer experience.

It is vital to remember not to use the CRM system to automate bad practises and behaviours.  Instead, it should be used to eradicate those things and boost the bottom line in the long run.

How do businesses break these bad habits?  First of all, they need to have an in-depth understanding of how their customers define a meaningful experience and learn from it.  Any and all CRM strategy practises should be based on this information.

Getting rid of bad behaviour

Getting rid of bad behaviour is sometimes easier said than done, but it is possible.  Improve the customer relationship and experience by making changes across every point of contact with the organisation, from the sales and marketing teams to collections and customer service.  It is also important to maintain the high-quality experience throughout the business-customer relationship, not just when selling.

CRM technology has come a long way in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only aspect of maintaining and enhancing the customer relationship.  Don’t be swept away by technology’s promise; focus on understanding what the customer wants and how to make that happen.



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