Put the Customer Back into CRM
There are so many different approaches to what people call Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Unfortunately, the reason that so many different approaches exist is because many organizations have a ‘me first’ or a ‘big brother’ mentality about their CRM system. Occasionally you will see the system designed to truly best manage customer expectations or deliver exceptional service. When you see an intelligent design in a system that benefits the internal employee base and helps customer facing employees succeed in either their sales or service efforts there has usually been some collaboration with clients. If you really want to get a ‘grade’ on your internal systems then have a focus group with 5 or 10 customers and ask them to rate the following after you show them your CRM system:
- What information about your company did you expect to see captured in the system? Why?
- What was missing from the system that was just show to you? Why?
- What information did you just see that didn’t matter or makes no sense to you? Why?
Believe it or not just getting the feedback from customers in these areas on an annual basis will help you understand what is truly a ‘customer’ centric system and what might be a system cluttered with junk or ancillary information that won’t help you attract or keep the customers that you really want. After all, it’s not called an ‘Employee Management System’ – that is why you have managers.