By Chris Pennington
Many companies have installed CRM software, but how many companies operate a Customer Relationship Management system? To get the most out of a CRM system it needs to be worked.
Do you know anyone that has a gym membership, but rarely goes for a workout? I’ve been there, I’ve faked it. I even proudly told people “I belong to a fitness centre”, as if boasting to my friends would somehow surreptitiously expand my biceps of their own accord. I attended the odd zumba session and made use of the running machines. I even tried the step-master once, but steered clear of the rowing machines and other equipment too complicated to even fathom it’s use let alone it’s name.
Your organisation needs to live and breathe the CRM system. Owning a gym membership won’t make you fit, you need to act. The same is true with CRM, everyone needs to take individual responsibility to update, use and manage the information held within client records. Microsoft has recently released its new version of Dynamics CRM 2011, complete with new features and easier to use functions. It has much to applaud it. Yet, all organisations that are embarking on upgrading or implementing not only MS-CRM or any other CRM need to look inwardly at the culture and processes that surround the CRM system.
Here are dozen ways in which organisations can help to give CRM a workout:
- Get an executive sponsor to promote CRM
- Link reports to run directly from CRM data
- Don’t rely on non-CRM data for decisions (have you heard the catch-cry “if it’s not in CRM it doesn’t exist”)
- Regularly cleanse the data
- Run impromptu information sessions about the use of CRM
- Expose CRM data to clients via a portal
- Link/Integrate CRM with other IT applications
- Form a CRM-chorus-group from disparate users that can come together regular to discuss CRM
- Remove superfluous data fields which clutter the screen
- Make key fields mandatory
- Employ consultants to fix broken reports, screens, processes
- Run regular training sessions