CRM Best Practices…at a glance

CRM success isn’t only about technology; rather, it is a successful integration of three critical variables: People, Business Processes and Technology Solutions. Getting everyone in your organization to focus on your customers will drive the adoption of the CRM technology.

CRM, at its core, is an organizational commitment to change. CRM begins and ends with management commitment to introduce a customer-driven culture into a business. Managers leading CRM projects need to recognize that employees are sensitive to change, and need to be included in the transition process.

Managers need to make a convincing argument to employees of the benefits of being able to view all customer data in a single environment. People become attached to doing things a certain way, using the spreadsheets, contact managers, simple databases, and even the paper records they’ve always used. Even though they recognize that their methods may be inefficient, they are often reluctant to move data out of the software they’ve become accustomed to.

That’s why CRM tools need to be intuitive to learn and easy to use. Change is never easy, but easy-to-use CRM tools smooth the transition. If software tools are hard to use, most people give up trying after the first try. Make sure your CRM suite has good data import features so loading data into a new environment won’t undermine the transition to CRM before it gets off the ground.

Choose a flexible CRM solution that is easy to adapt to your business, and that will grow with your company. Lack of customization and personalization options leaves the business operator with few choices. Be sure to choose a CRM solution that is easy to upgrade with new features or other capacity enhancements.

Make sure your data is safe. Your customers are your business, so your CRM solution should provide you with reliable backup features. Hosted CRM solutions archive your critical data for you on their own servers, so your business is protected against any local service outage or hardware failure. CRM solutions need to be secure, as your customer data must be protected against theft or tampering. Verify security and backup features with your CRM vendor.