Customer Relationship Management, or CRM as it is often known is an essential part of the success profile of many companies. A CRM handles one of the most vital parts of any business: its relationship with its customers. As CRM programs become both more affordable and more effective it is likely that the number of companies who utilize them will only increase. For the most part this is a very good trend; however, there are some specific concerns relating to CRM implementation that a company needs to be aware of.
One of the biggest fears that most companies have when they are implementing a CRM is how the transition period during which time the CRM is put into place and the employees are trained, will affect business as usual at the company. This can generally be subdivided into two categories: concern about customer relations and productivity and operations.
Customer Relations – The most important function of any CRM is improving the level of customer satisfaction for the company. It all comes down to effectively building and managing customer relationships. That is why it is ironic that unless a company is careful, the transition period of a CRM can actually hurt their relationships with their customers. That is because during this transition period old ways of doing things are being phased out and replaced by the new system. This can inadvertently lead to inadequate customer care coverage with some customers slipping through the cracks. There is also a chance that while the system is still new and being integrated into daily life at the company, mistakes might occur.
Productivity and Operations – The productivity and effective routine operations of a company during the transition period of a CRM is another major concern that many companies have, especially smaller companies. That is because at smaller companies there are fewer overall employees and if they have to dedicate a considerable chunk of their time to learning and integrating the new system that will in turn result in less time that they can spend doing their regular work. Again it is a great irony since a CRM should actually result in improved efficiency, ease, and lower cost once it is established. During the crucial transition period, however, a company must be very careful to ensure that they balance proper CRM training with daily operations.
Adoption and Integration
Another hurdle to CRM implementation relates to how well it is adopted by the company and integrated into work life. There is certainly no point in investing the time and money involved with implementing a CRM system if employees are resistant to it and fail to actually take advantage of it. In order to avoid this problem the company should emphasize good training on the CRM so that employees are comfortable and knowledgeable about it and the company should also gradually make it a required part of the work environment rather than simply something optional.
Successfully implementing a CRM is very challenging. The obstacles discussed here are often difficult to overcome and unfortunately they are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of other potential problems that can crop up during CRM implementation. However, foregoing the CRM altogether should not be considered a viable option because the bottom line is that they offer a huge amount of benefits that many companies simply cannot afford to be without. Instead of running the risk of damaging your company and customer relations, or missing out on the potential boon a CRM can have for your business, contact The Refinery and let us help you with your CRM implementation.