Leveraging CRM to Reduce Stress in the Workplace
As many people who work in human resources know, the biggest cost to any organization is the labor force. There are many factors that affect employees on a day-to-day basis and as a practitioner in the field of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) I truly understand that these types of technologies can have as big of an impact on employees as they do on the customers that we serve.
For those not too familiar with the concepts of CRM it is probably appropriate to set a foundation for what CRM is and what it does for an organization. As a formal definition CRM provides a holistic view of a customer from a marketing, sales and customer service perspective. Like an HRMS system that tracks the holistic view of the employee, CRM performs that same function for the organization. In more practical terms a CRM solution should provide an operational heartbeat to an organization that is a centralized repository for all customer information, regardless of the source.
The dynamics of stress in the workplace are multi-faceted but few would argue that companies are pushing to get more productivity from their limited human resources. Understanding that this is the norm for most small and medium size organizations, a CRM platform can provide a centralized environment for everything from customer documents to historical interactions. More importantly, it gives team members a place to collaborate and better work with each other to help resolve outstanding issues and provide better service.
The idea that a business application can reduce stress is really centered on the idea that people are inherently interested doing what is defined in their job description and so many internal systems or policies act as bottlenecks or barriers to fulfilling their job duties. With a CRM structure in place, we have witnessed that many of those barriers or challenges can be alleviated, freeing up more time to get things done that we were hired to do. The following scenarios describe how different departments can benefit from a CRM system and how they positively impact a working environment.
Inside any sales organization our business development professionals are paid to convince companies to buy your products or services. Yet, if you look at the day-to-day for many front line sales personnel, they spend an inordinate amount of time creating reports on their efforts and activities rather than spending more time with those they are trying to sell to. If you know any of these people they will tell you that if a system reported their activity the amount of stress relief would be exponential. CRM technologies take care of these types of challenges.
Many organizations also have inside sales and customer service teams. A large portion of their time is spent coordinating with people in the field or answering customer inquiries. Stress is often derived for many of these people from not having access to customer information or spending lots of wasted time playing phone tag or exchanging emails with people in the field. Many CRM systems today enable people to put all customer documentation in a centralized location that can be accessed inside the office or through iPads or other tablets. In addition, customer notes or requests from customers and internal people can be logged centrally. The net effect of having a solution like this is that people spend more time solving problems or processing transactions than they do chasing each others down.
Workflow and Accountibalitly
The last area that we will touch on today is the concept of workflow and accountability. In the ‘old days’ many managers would spend their time running reports to sort through data just to come to a conclusion that there are problems and then stress out because they are always in a reactionary mode when running the business. In many of the CRM technologies today there are set processes, or workflow, that enable people to know exactly when to do something or when something falls outside of the acceptable business policies. Since these same technologies provide audit trails and notifications many teams that refine their processes find that their employees are much happier because they feel confident that they are ahead of the game most of the time.
We could probably write about another dozen scenarios where CRM can positively impact morale and alleviate stress in your organization. The scenarios presented here give you a taste of some of the benefits of how a well-defined Customer Relationship Management strategy can improve your results. If you are interested in knowing more about the solutions that we offer or if you want to have a discovery session with some of our experienced CRM team members, reach out and we would be happy to schedule some time to discuss your specific needs.