Written by: Yvonne Dias – Mint Group CFO
A targeted Customer Relationship Management strategy is the strongest and most efficient approach to maintaining and creating relationships with customers. Strategy issues in CRM, however, often hinder ROI objectives and growth with the biggest pitfalls boiled down to seven main contributors.
1. Poor Planning and Assumptions
Organisations often underestimate the planning phase of a software development project and don’t delve into enough detail to ensure a holistic overview of the project requirements
and phases. In these situations, the project planning phase is often superficial with the scope being underestimated. Often stakeholders might view certain sections of the development phase as ‘easy enough to understand’ or that they have ‘done it before’. This results in systems that are not tailored to the actual requirements of the business, and scope of the operational processes.
2. Lack of Communication and stakeholder involvement
From product owners to shareholders and users – everyone needs to form part of the product journey. It is crucial to involve all users at the start of a project, as it will ensure that the requirements gathering process accurately reflects operations across all departments. Quite often, the
product is built and implemented, and users only see the product in training, which results in watered-down systems that do not cater to all user needs and, thereby, significantly reduces adoption.
3. Insufficient training
Training is usually done as a mass high-level roll out, leaving users with a lot of questions. Proper digital enablement ensures that users spend time with the product, understand how to use it, know what value the product can add to their role and that all questions are answered.
4. Lack of support
The level of support from a CRM provider is a crucial aspect to consider prior to implementation. Is support available 24/7 or only during certain hours? How is support provided to clients? How difficult or costly is it to speak to a support agent when needed? If the users do not have the right support with access to designated super users it will lead to frustration, incorrect usage of the system and poor data quality – all of which defeats the purpose of a new CRM system.
5. Complicated systems
Users are often non-technical people, so if the system is too complicated, user adoption will be low. The purpose of a CRM system is to automate processes, align departments across organisations, increase efficiency and drive ROI. If a system is too complicated, not well understood or failing to meet user requirements, adoption will not follow, and ROI will not realise.
6. No Executive buy-in
Leadership needs to encourage buy-in and collaboration around the system. Most importantly, users from all levels of the organisations should be involved in the buy-in process – form start to finish. Execs must not only be involved but also inspire and build credibility among others around the product and roadmap.
7. No ownership
Assigning a product owner/champion that will drive the product and roadmap is crucial to successful adoption. If it sits on someone’s KPI – there will be ownership and a drive throughout the business. To adequately link KPIs to system usage and objectives, organisations should ensure proper CRM training programs, adequate feedback loops and strategic alignment from the top to the bottom.
When a CRM implementation property aligns to an organisation’s overall strategy, ROI swiftly follows. From staff efficiency to cleaner data, to increased visibility and improved decision making – all these benefits follow the successful implementation and use of a CRM system based on a competitive CRM strategy.