By Casey O’Loughlin, Star2Star
As businesses look to supercharge their customer service strategies, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have become foundational for their quest. CRM systems often serve as the building block for winning over, helping, and creating repeat customers. However, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid when implementing CRM systems. Here are three main ways to avoid them.
Focus On User Adoption
All too often, businesses will implement a shiny new software system, only to quickly have it become a wasted investment because employees don’t use it. Make sure that when evaluating CRM systems, you choose one with an intuitive user interface, useful tools that help workers do their jobs more effectively, and a way to easily get data into the system. Investing in user training as part of the implementation should be a top priority too.
Social & Mobile Integration
Make sure any system has emerging channel integration—especially mobile and social. Mobility is critical given that we live in the age of the borderless office; mobile clients will give employees and salespeople a way to be responsive and tap the information they need wherever they are, improving customer satisfaction. On the social front, businesses need to intelligently listen to their customers. Active engagement via Facebook, Twitter, and other social outlets help create long-term relationships while generating invaluable customer insights that can be used to improve the customer experience and drive more sales and loyalty. If your CRM isn’t capturing the corner of your customer strategy world, you’re ultimately hurting your organization’s bottom line.
Integration With Other Systems
To optimize a CRM investment, integration with other systems such as a Unified Communications (UC) platform will help drive value. For instance, according to Aberdeen Research, companies who integrate their email platform with their CRM system see year-over-year revenue gains of 22.7 percent vs. 13.4 percent for companies who don’t. Being able to unite customer information across silos (trouble tickets, sales opportunities, details from customer interactions, etc.) along with contact details, the contact center platform, and the office phone system creates a seamless work environment where it becomes possible to put the customer at the center of your business.
Bottom line? CRM systems can be critical tools for businesses as they look for ways to support long-term revenue and customer loyalty goals. But usability and having the right features make the difference between achieving that vision or watching it gather dust.