With more and more organizations realizing the importance of implementing a coherent and consistent Customer relationship Management (CRM) program and with vendors providing them with newer and innovative tools that solve their needs, the adoption and practice of CRM is seeing an explosive growth today. However, there is a lot more to effective CRM than just technology and tools. It needs active participation from all the business units and the right combination of people, processes, technology, and information.
Here are some practices that can be followed to make your CRM effective:
People and culture: As mentioned earlier, CRM is more than just technology. If employees don’t buy in or if the company’s culture does not support it, even the best CRM tool in the world (if there were one) cannot help you. The more important step, even before you deploy a CRM tool, is to change your organization’s culture to make it customer-focused and impress upon your people the importance of customer focus. Also, there is the chance that some of your employees might not be comfortable with such a sudden change in their work culture or their roles and responsibilities. Managers must plan for this while implementing CRM initiatives.
Social CRM: Another effective CRM practice is being active on social media and making it an integral part of your CRM initiatives. Face it. You are being talked about, whether or not you like it and whether or not you participate in it. It’s better to be an active part of and control the discussion rather than sit back. Not only can it help attract and engage current and potential customers but it also gives you another channel to support your clients. Indeed, there are several organizations that use Facebook and Twitter to register their users’ grievances and provide them with immediate support.
A platform for sharing: The different components of CRM like marketing, sales, and customer support generally function in their own silos, often with one department completely unaware of another’s plans and scope. If someone was a product manager or a product marketer, the line separating sales and marketing is often so thin to the point of being non-existent. Instead of letting departments function in disparate silos, you must bring them all on to a common platform where the common objective of CRM guides the strategy and execution rather than individual departmental objectives.