Whether you’ve inherited a CRM system at your company or you’ve planned for a long time to find a new CRM, you’ll get much more from your CRM system if you use these five tips.
CRM is so much more than software. It’s a holistic, integrated approach to building and sustaining customer relationships. Software is a tool that’s used to enhance and manage customer relationships, but at the heart of a good CRM program is the understanding that software is the servant, not the master of the CRM approach. Keep that in mind as you use your CRM system and you’ll get many more benefits than competitors who view CRM as “software only.”
Get More From Your CRM System With These 5 Tips
- Teach people how to use it: Everyone benefits from scheduled training sessions. New employees should be taught how to use the CRM system while current employees may need initial training and refresher sessions to ensure they’re using all the CRM features. It’s also smart to train one or two people per department as “power users” or those who the team can turn to with questions.
- Adjust metrics to fit a CRM–driven culture: You may need to adjust the metrics by which you judge department or company success after implementing a CRM system. Mapping customer touchpoints and measuring the effectiveness of them over time is a better measure of success than time on a call, number of customer service tickets closed in a week, and other productivity measures.
- Avoid customization: It’s tempting to begin customizing the CRM system right away but consider whether changes are worthwhile. Make changes only if they improve efficiency, effectiveness, or operational impact. Companies often fall victim to the “it doesn’t work” mentality and make random changes to the CRM system when more training, not tweaks to the code, make it work better. Customizing the existing software should be the last resort.
- Adhere to strict data rules: Create a data dictionary and adhere to a strict set of rules about who can input data and make data changes. It is much better to start with a clean CRM system and make minor corrections and fixes than to allow sloppy data entry and be forced later to pay a company to clean the data. To keep a CRM database clean, everyone must adhere to the data rules. Assign someone to guide users through data entry and make periodic checks on data entry to fix any errors. It’s better to keep data clean than to have to go back into an extensive database and adjust multiple entries.
- Use the CRM to improve customer service: The CRM system contains valuable customer feedback across multiple input channels. Use that feedback to improve operations, products, marketing, and other areas of your company. CRM is more than outbound communications; it’s a chance to truly listen to and respond to your customers in innovative ways. Make the most of it.
CRM System Maintenance to Get Even More Benefits
CRM system maintenance is also of critical importance. Update your system when prompted by the manufacturer. An updated system offers the latest features and provides additional safety patches against known hacks and vulnerabilities.
A good CRM system enables you to track, monitor, and maintain customer relationships. It’s a listening post for customer feedback, a valuable source of data, and a great way to stay in touch. With these tips, you’ll get plenty of benefits from your CRM system and avoid significant missteps.
If you’re shopping for a CRM system, Emerald TC can help. Please contact us or call 678-456-6919.