Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems get a lot of praises and are regularly accepted as a necessity for any successful business. They are designed to help you organize information and improve your customer experience. With such a vast amount of features, they can be very confusing. They assist in building your client experience but don’t seem to help you engage much with your customers. Could these aspects be overlooked? CRMs are promoted as an incredible advancement but are they optimal for a business’s success?
CRMs Oil Your Organizational Gears
These systems are very qualified in organizing customer data. All of the information you need is located in one convenient location. This single repository saves time searching, and you don’t need a lot of documents and folders to store necessary information. Beyond that, CRMs assist the customer experience by tracking to-do lists for sales or account managers. CRM's allow you to track a customer from your first interaction, until the present day. It becomes helpful in knowing what customers need or may need in the future. By using this information you can adjust their experience accordingly, hopefully inspiring a loyal customer. Salesforce states that CRM systems can improve revenue by 29%, so there is solid logic to having this central data store.
For your company, CRMs also assist functions needed to keep employees communicating with each other, and clients running smoothly. Information is shared among employees through CRMs. This way, employees can access information when they need it. They also have identical data, which helps build cohesion without confusion. The manager can view how projects are going. He or she could monitor the amount of time a team is spending to complete goals, and make a plan accordingly.
But CRMs Also Grind Your Organizational Gears
While it is obvious that CRM systems assist companies, they have some downfalls. These systems along with your business process typically mean a long ramp-up time to get the full effect. Unfortunately, once the software is up and working, Forrester reports 44% of employees do not accept and adopt the CRM. They highlighted that 42% of companies had a bad strategy to welcome the change to this new system. Also, according to Merkle, 63% of CRM Systems fail. Considering its high cost, maybe CRMs are not as great of an investment as initially thought.
Some CRM's claim to be a customer experience tool, but they are an automated system that are often data based. CRMs focus on what these numbers can do for your company, not necessarily what you can do for your customer. They typically don’t ask for input from customers, and mostly track behavior based on # of emails, tickets, website usage, etc. It is hard to not to believe that this is not the best way to learn about your customers needs. CRMs address customers in a highly automated manner. Often giving a cold feeling to customers as they don't get the personal human interaction that many clients crave.
So What Are Your Options?
You can choose to get all of the positives of a big CRM while diminishing the negatives by using portions of the system that fit your needs. Alternatively you could also look at simplified CRMs, such as Apptivo, BPM'Online, Pipedrive, Hirise, and Base. You can have the features you need without having complex software installation. Either way Benchmark studies show that each salesperson that uses a CRM could increase revenue by 41%.
Whatever you decide, please don't forget to get ACTUAL feedback from your client. Using a data-driven approach may seem efficient but asking your customers the tough questions and getting quality feedback is what any sales or account manager needs with any CRM. Make sure you don't hide behind the data.
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