CRM Input from Users

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: August 22, 2011

Many businesses are buying CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems to help them in managing the customer service area. However, it’s interesting to note that CRM systems are considered to be IT-only processes, and not programs that help the business infrastructure. This situation is reflected in the fact that firms are not including CRM users in the purchasing process.

For example, Mike Snyder, president of CRM firm Sonoma Partners, was mentioned by saying that during the decision process, the IT, sales and marketing executives are the only active participants, with no input from CRM user areas such as call centers. Businesses are purchasing CRM systems without ongoing feedback or input from user areas, which is not a good situation.

Usually CRM systems have standard features, and the areas that need attention are those areas where front-line personnel can be very useful, such as support, training, interface design and other specific concerns. Without their knowledge, decisions can be made that may be detrimental to users and to the business as a whole.

To be successful, the firm must be able to sell a new system to its users and a CRM setup is no exception. If users are not included during the sales and selection process, something is not right. If you can’t build relationships with users, how are you going to build relationships with customers? This could be a sign that management is not really connected with users, and this may need to be worked out independently of the CRM system.

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