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Hints to better manage your CRM systems

Thursday, August 23, 2012   By Mike Reddy

 



Customer-driven applications have been in existence for years. Successful businesses have always utilised the principles of which Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems now formalise. 

As CRM’s become more available allowing smaller businesses to benefit from these powerful solutions, many potential problems are being widely overlooked.

Firstly the CRM application is an enabler, not a substitute for human relationship.

Don’t use CRM systems as a substitute for personal contact. Use them instead to identify customer needs and opportunities and ensure they are well catered for.

Remember that CRM technology enables your organisation to apply sound relationship development techniques in a systemised manner.

Once the system is in place and training has been implemented, remember the following tips:

  1. CRM data must have ownership - one responsible for capturing data from both internal and external sources.
  2. CRM data must be ‘cleaned’ regularly, that is, keeping the data up to date.
  3. CRM data needs to have a detailed process of complete data input.
  4. CRM data requires rules that should be implemented in order to maintain consistency (common spelling, abbreviations, etc.)

Work to improve the quality of the data being entered. Use drop-down lists/tables, specify field types and use formatting rules wherever possible.

These rules will assist in maintaining the share space that is the CRM and promote uniformity in information.

CRM is not about technology. It is about the interplay of strategy, tactics, processes, skills and the technology that supports these areas.


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.