Customer Relationship Management systems, commonly referred to as CRMs have been around for a long time. Although they were once seen as only relevant to large companies with thousands of employees, today their cost and complexity has been reduced making them achievable for smaller organisations.
CRMs provide the opportunity to organize and automate marketing, sales and customer service tasks. Although they offer a great deal of benefits, a number of significant pitfalls exist and should be addressed to ensure you get the most from your CRM.
When introducing a CRM, it’s easy for it to become ‘just another place to store data’. Silos of unconnected information are likely to reduce efficiencies, not improve them. To combat this it’s crucial for a CRM to be implemented in the right way (integrated) and used correctly (by the whole team).
Include your whole team
Firstly, it’s important that the whole team is included and considered when planning a roll out of your new Customer Relationship Management system. Limiting access and not including all those who genuinely need access to it will lead to the CRM data becoming out of date, and new silos or pockets of data being created elsewhere. Potential mutiny may then ensue, as different teams claim to have the most up to date information in their respective Excel spreadsheets or Google docs…
Don’t forget your website
Secondly, if a lot of your business is done online (for most this is the growing trend) a significant amount of data is likely to be passing through your website from new and existing customers / members. By integrating your CRM with your website, you can ensure that your website doesn’t become another isolated store of valuable and up to date information. Connecting your website with your CRM will allow users to update their details online, meaning that when it comes to your marketing campaigns you’ll always have the correct data to hand in your CRM.
Think outside the box
Lastly, don’t be tempted to restrict CRM integration to just your website. Consider all of your other systems that could be integrated with your CRM to provide you with a more joined up approach e.g. event systems, accounting software and customer support portals. Connecting these together will likely help improve efficiency for employees as well as the overall image of your organisation through consistency and accuracy.
Choosing the right CRM, setting it up and integrating it can be a daunting prospect. Fortunately we have loads of experience managing CRM tender processes and even more around successful website CRM integration projects. Pick our brains here to find out more...