- Anchorage in the top management
It may sound obvious that a project that involves all parts of an organization needs top management involvement, but in order to inspire and build credibility, top management is crucial. They drive the opinion and culture in the organization and their early adaption gives a synergy effect on the whole organization. So get them involved!
- Project manager
When you are implementing a new CRM system the most important person is the one that has the overall management and the mandate to run the project. The selected person should drive the project so that the steps get done and the goals are met. It does not have to be someone from the management, but a do-er with enthusiasm, passion and focus on details.
A super-user or a CRM responsible is not the same as a project manager. This is the person in your organization which is assigned as the super-user of your new system. He or she just loves the new system and wants to learn everything about. When others in your organization have problems or need support, this is the internal person to go to, the “know-it-all”. This person is also often the contact point towards the vendor, and will be the first to get information about new version etc.
- Launch with a BANG!
The mantra for real estate agents is location – location – location. For the project manager it should be motivation – motivation – motivation. Sell it! Internal marketing is sometimes underestimated, but when implementing a new CRM system you need to sell it to your colleagues. Make a cool article on your intranet, a poster, a special launch t-shirt, internal launch party etc. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but something to mark the launch and create enthusiasm. But unfortunately you can’t rest on your laurels, now the lobbing starts. Walk around, ask people how it’s going and help them along.
- Internal guidelines
A CRM system is only as good as the data put into it. It is essential that some common guidelines are set. For example, how to include new company data or register a sale. If Trine, Steven and Marie all register their sales in the CRM system, but Michael doesn’t, then it is difficult for the sales manager to take out correct sales statistics and coach his sales team. The guidelines should be written down and can be published for example on your intranet.
- Proper & Effective Training
We are all different; some people get a kick out of a new system and start to use it right away. Others may be skeptical to a new way of working. The project manager should have strategies to handle both user groups. You can choose classroom training from a vendor, or if you have assigned an internal super-user he or she can do the training in your office. You should also include an introduction to your CRM system in the internal training program for new employees. New employees will then, from the start, get on the right track.
CRM is, as mentioned earlier, not just technology but a philosophy.
When you implement a CRM system your whole organization needs to re-think all routines and each individual needs to change their work pattern. This is a challenge and requires a strategy to cope with negative attitude on all levels. Despite the fact that over the last 10 years it has been written a lot about CRM, clarifying the shift from only a sales perspective to a 3600 view, many people still look at CRM as only a sales tool.
- Foster Word of Mouth Conversations
In a connected world, word of mouth often means online reviews and recommendations, of which there are many forms. Onsite reviews that translate to qualitative stars like you see on Amazon or Yelp are one way to get customer feedback from those already using your site, but for objective information from newcomers, social media is your best bet..
- Take Care of Frustrated Customers, Use Their Feedback to Improve UX
In fact, responding to negative feedback in a positive — albeit honest — way can turn annoyed users into loyal fans and brand ambassadors.
- Be Honest
No matter what happens with your CRM — and a lot can go wrong — honesty is by far the best policy. Small business sets itself apart from big business partly because it is easy for consumers to get in touch with a real person. That means less wait time for a response, a lot more truth behind a flaw in your business and, perhaps most importantly, a human touch. It’s a lot easier to get mad at a recording than another human being. This is a huge advantage for small businesses, and capitalizing on it will increase loyalty.
- Keep Track of Your Customers
It’s one thing to have a positive customer experience, but it’s another to keep track of your ongoing customer relationships, following up on recent experiences with your business or even just sending a “Happy Birthday” card. Using tools like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Kovida.is, Close.io, Sugar or even an Excel doc (if you’re really bootstrapping) will help you stay on top of communications with customers and ensure you’re being proactive in maintaining relationships, not just responding when something goes awry. And while it’s important to address negative feedback, you should also reach out to people who have left a 5-star review of you or tweeted about you, and make a note. These are the customers who will help your business grow.
Your CRM will be taken to the next level when combined with marketing automation. Since small business owners typically have dozens of tasks per day, wouldn’t it be nice if your CRM system automatically sent emails — follow-up or otherwise — to your customers, requiring no effort on your part?