1. CRM is just about customer service.
Of course CRM is all about the customer, but CRM systems are not just or even mainly customer service systems. The aim is to integrate of customer service, support, retention, sales and more – using and analysing data across every area of a business. As vital as customer service is to the success of any company, it’s not all you need to succeed; and the approach of CRM reflects that.
2. CRM is just technology.
It’s a technologically-based solution, but you don’t achieve CRM goals just by buying the package. Too many companies see CRM just as a way of automating their tasks, rather than as something to help them to improve their performance and to develop. Far more important than the technology is the way that the package is used and made to serve the needs of the business and its customers. Basically, in CRM, people come first.
3. CRM is a catch-all solution.
The ‘one size fits all’ approach is common with companies investing in CRM – and it is too often pushed by those selling CRM software – but it’s not the right way to get the best out of it. Before investing in any CRM package, there are questions to be answered. You need to be very clear about your company’s needs, about who will use the system and about how your customer relationship processes work. Then there needs to be careful research into the different solutions available. Without a solid understanding of why you are investing in a CRM system and what it can do for you, you are unlikely to make the right decisions.
4. Little training is needed in the use of CRM software.
CRM is not intuitive. If CRM systems are to be effective, staff need to be trained in getting the best out of them. And while technical competence is clearly vital, it’s equally important that all those whose work will be affected by the new systems fully understand the benefits they will bring. That means well organised and extensive training before the new systems are put in place. Training should also be on-going – employees usually need further help in the first weeks of using the new CRM technology – and backed up by effective support.
5. CRM means automated sales.
CRM makes the sales process more efficient, but in order to sell, you need good sales staff – it’s that simple. The most effective use of CRM systems in sales is not to keep monitoring the staff, making them provide information for analysis or using findings to tell them how to do their jobs. Instead, the package should be used to minimise routine tasks for the reps and generate good sales leads. As with all aspects of CRM, the goal should be to help businesses and their workforce do their jobs more efficiently and make their customers happier – not to replace people with technology.
This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.