Using a CRM for your business is a necessity, but implementing it shouldn’t be too complicated.
Any client-facing professional who has used a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for work understands the incredible value it can provide. These systems integrate with accounting, marketing, and other software applications. They collect all of the information you need in one easy-to-access place, and improve management’s ability to provide direction and encouragement. Of course, the system only works if people are willing to use it.
A CRM Doesn’t Need to be an Obstacle
Rolling out any type of new software or platform for your company is going to have hiccups and frustrations. Since CRM touches so many aspects of your business, compatibility, versatility, and customization are crucial factors. If you attempt to implement a CRM platform that doesn’t work with your existing applications, you’re going to have a difficult time getting everything copasetic without aggravating your usual operations. A failed software launch can be incredibly disruptive, so take the time to fully investigate the capabilities of a CRM platform and the issues you’re likely to encounter with it before committing to it.
CRM Creates Better Customer Experiences
Customer service has always been a cornerstone of successful businesses, but today it’s important to focus on more than service. Focusing on customer experience means doing everything possible to ensure that each interaction a customer has with your brand is positive. That includes opening marketing emails, responding to surveys, completing purchases, dealing with customer service, conflict resolution, and more. CRM applications allow businesses to effectively keep everyone in the company in the loop with customer interactions.
A CRM platform will ideally integrate with existing applications to create profiles of every customer. Depending on how you configure your platform, you can easily attach customers’ most recent emails or calls directly to their profiles. This will help customer service representatives to more easily track customer issues. It also ensures that marketers can track common issues among their customer base and will empower sales representatives to make more informed and appropriate pitches. One-on-one training sessions with sales reps can help them see how to leverage a CRM platform’s capabilities to better serve their biggest accounts and generate new business.
Common Hang-Ups with CRM Platforms
Most employees in any company (in any industry) dread the news of a new application implementation. This means their routine is about to change and they’ll be expected to learn a host of new workflows and have new issues to handle. It’s crucial to convey news of change in a positive light, so explain why your CRM rollout is going to be a positive change. Learning an unfamiliar system can be challenging, so getting sales reps involved with the process can potentially eliminate a lot of frustrations for everyone.
Gamification Helps Implementation
Another useful strategy is to “gamify” your CRM platform. Gamification essentially applies concepts from games into software to encourage engagement. Presenting your CRM platform in this manner could lead to increased engagement and more desire from your teams to explore what the new system has to offer. Some companies go so far as to offer incentives for using their CRM platforms and exploring new ways to leverage their value to the company’s benefit.
Adopting CRM doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can avoid the typical adoption woes by being open with your employees. Make sure the platform you choose works for your existing applications suite. Also, ensure that your employees are ready to make the change. Involve them in the purchasing decision if you have several options, or simply ask for feedback after implementation to quickly address their pain points with the new system.
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