Posted by: admin
on Oct 26, 2009
CRM Success: 7 Pitfalls To Avoid
Avoiding User Acceptance IssuesOne of the biggest issues facing companies that deploy a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is user acceptance. This document outlines what we see as the top seven reasons why user acceptance is still a big problem for so many companies. The decision to purchase and deploy a CRM system is usually based on solid business logic. But once the decision has been made to deploy, many projects go off track. Here are the top reasons why.
Lack of Executive Buy-InSure it was a Senior Director or the CEO of the organisation who came up with the idea to deploy CRM in the first place, but these people are seldom actively involved in the delivery. The best solution is for executives to actively participate in the system implementation. By rolling up their sleeves and spending time on the project, they can avoid nearly all of the pitfalls.
The System Is Not Designed With Users In MindManagers, the consumers of information from a CRM system, are typically the decision makers when it comes to system selection and customisation. But the real users of the system are the sales, marketing and customer support staff who must enter and manage information. Often little or no thought is given to the needs of these users and the system deployed often does not meet their needs. Ultimately, a CRM system should make users more productive. But all too often the new system is perceived (correctly or incorrectly) as additional work for already busy employees.
Lack Of Training And OrientationWe have learned over the years that there is no such thing as too much training. Training increases comfort with the system, allows users to become more efficient, and overcomes reluctance to change. But few companies invest adequately in training.
Managers Are Not “Living In The System”When managers do not rely on the information in a CRM system as the “gold standard” for decision making in the organisation, how can they expect end-users to take the system seriously? By conducting the daily operations of the organisation through the CRM system, user acceptance is reinforced, data quality improves, and decision making becomes more efficient and accurate.
Poor Data QualityAt the end of the day, any CRM system is only as good as the data in it. During deployment, many companies migrate legacy databases from multiple sources, create large amounts of duplicate data, and don’t take the time to “scrub” data so that it is valuable and meaningful to users.
Not Keeping It Simple, No Eye On The Bigger PictureMost CRM projects start off with good intentions but end up becoming bloated with lots of features, functions and ideas that, together, miss the orginal intentions. It is important to keep it simple at the beginning and grow slowly as users get used to, and adopt, the new technology. Conversely, keeping things too simple, or focused, can mean that the wrong CRM system is purchased and the organisation ends up with several fragmented systems. In our experience it is vital that a good project delivery plan is laid out from the start which is delivered in easy steps in a very controlled environment where user expectations can be well managed.
Lack of Project OwnershipA key driver is to assign an internal project ‘owner’ that has global respect and clout with users and managers. Someone who can proactively drive the day-to-day delivery of the organisations operational requirements, someone who has a deep insight into the processes, culture and end user needs and who is able to relate technically with I.T staff and the CRM Vendor. Unfortunately, all too often this role is not considered or users are just too busy to take it on. Ultimately, this creates a stagnating project or leaves the CRM vendor to make its own assumptions.
Posted by: admin
on Oct 26, 2009
So many people I speak with don't know why they use Twitter. Most site the fact that it seems to be the in-thing to do or that others use it so therefore so should "I". Then what happens? People start writing 140 characters about what they have done that day or they advertise a product asking people to buy it. The former, they decide, being mind-numbingly pointless and the latter bearing no fruit whatsoever.
Eventually with only a few close friends and family "following" them they start to follow others in the hope that these people follow them back. Before long their twitter profile is awash with random messages from people they neither know or care about.
Now at this point many new Tweeters give up Tweeting. They label it a pointless-faddy-thing-to-do which wastes time from doing "real" business.
So what's all this to do with CRM?
When I began Tweeting I fell into the above camp until several weeks into it I decided enough's enough, I'm going to give my Twitter antics 30 days to bear fruit otherwise I too will ditch it.
To begin with I took a long look at my marketing communications plan and realised that Twitter might just help me to build the relationships I was keen to nurture in the region I was targeting. For me, Twitter was going to become a tool to help me build business relationships with people I had already met. I 'unfollowed' all those people half way around the world that were filling my Twitter inbox with garzillions of irrelevant messages. I had it down to about 60 people most of whom I'd met through various business network meetings. And so began my inner circle of known acquaintances. I felt part of a nucleus of like-minded individuals who had a similar passion to grow their business. These people were all Twittering on and I started to get to know them all as people. Go figure.
Next I needed a system to keep me in touch with my little world of Twitter. Twitter.com was good but unless I actually logged on and got 'involved' in the daily antics of the people I was following I would miss things. Important things. In other words it was a bit like being in a bar with friends and coming in on only part of the conversation. To get around this I researched software programs that could remain open on my PC (in the background) which, alerted me or I would periodically look at. Tweetdeck became my tool of choice.
Not only could I see what my network was tweeting about but I could also use Tweetdeck to listen out for keywords and phrases that I am particularly interested in. For example, in my case, if someone is Tweeting about "CRM" and "Exeter" then I'll know.
I helped them out when they tweeted a question. They tweeted thanks and other people started to follow me. I started asking for help/advice and people started to fall over to help me out. I use Twitter to impart knowledge for free. What goes around comes around and I have seen some wonderful tips from people I am following.
30 days later I had found a great company that I bought from (through a recommended Tweet) and I had found a new customer who, although already new me, tweeted a question which turned out to me right up my street.
Besides Tweetdeck, my CRM database contains a rich source of information on my target audience. I can see what my contacts are Tweeting about inside, the very tool I live in each day. My CRM system. It is connected to other social networks and overall Twitter is helping support my CRM strategy. It's empowering when you do it right.