The CRM solution is a tool most commonly used by companies to improve their processes in order to deliver a better service level to their customers. However, most companies which want to implement or which have implemented it are not well-informed on the different aspects of the CRM platform. Let us look at the customer relationship management platform from three different aspects – What should you expect from CRM software? How to build CRM software tailor-made for your organization? What are the common reasons behind the failure of CRM software?

CRM flow chart

Image Credits: Sean MacEntee, Flicrk

Let us start with what you should expect from a CRM solution.

First, you need to understand the problem areas you need to address. You need to understand if the offered customer relationship management solution provides tracking solutions and real-time updates. For example, if you need to understand the spending pattern of your client base so that your company can offer them tailor-made solutions, you should customize the CRM solution accordingly.

Next, you need to understand how the CRM solution fits into your technology platform. Any CRM solution should be able to integrate seamlessly with the existing technology in your organization. If this is not taken care of at the outset, you will end up having to enter the data manually that cannot be picked up by the solution.

Next, you should choose the functionality you need. A customer relationship management solution may offer you a thousand different reports and functions; however, always evaluate if those functions and reports are needed by your organization. Take a long-term view and then opt only for functions and reports that will help your organization.

Now let us look at how to build CRM software for your company.

The first step is to integrate the CRM software into your existing platform. Here you will need to engage the IT team to ensure a smooth integration. If the integration is not seamless, you will face issues with missing and incorrect data.

The second step will be to customize the customer relationship management software to provide each department real-time data and reports. This is also an important step as without the proper information received on time, the benefit of the CRM software will be lost.

The third step is to train the entire staff on how to use the CRM software. The best way to do this is to have representatives from each department involved in the testing stage so that they can then train the other individuals in the department.

The fourth step is to have all the CRM data stored securely in an offline server. This data should be updated once in three months in order to prevent any loss of data in case of a breakdown.

The final step is to integrate a tool that will allow each department to create their own reports and templates. This step will help you save a lot of money and time.

Finally, let us look at the reasons behind the failure of the CRM software.

The first reason behind any failure is purchase of the wrong product. The best way to understand which customer relationship management (or styring af kunderelationer as our Danish colleagues use to say) software should be purchased is to link it to your corporate goal. This will help you select the correct CRM software.

The second reason behind any failure is purchase of an untested product. CRM software works correctly only if the product has been tested in your industry. Never opt for a product that has not been tested for your sector. If you feel that the product may benefit you, ask the vendor for a 3-month trial period to check the efficiency of the CRM software.

The third reason behind any failure is the lack of penetration in the organization. Whenever you invest in customer relationship management software, you should ensure that every individual from the top management to the agent level is a part of the implementation. An improper implementation will lead to failure, as your organization will not be able to extract the best from the CRM software.