Investing in CRM software can provide the marketing department with huge benefits, including better customer retention. But how do you increase user adoption to really the make the most of your latest investment?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can provide a huge number of benefits to an organization, from increased productivity to closing more sales, however user adoption is almost always the biggest challenge for businesses to overcome. Research has found that A Review of CRM Failures [Download], and less than 40% have full scale end-user adoption, so ensuring users are on board is critical to the long-term success of your system.
1. Get employees on board from the start
People can resist change, especially when it comes to technology. Fear of the unknown, unwanted changes in day-to-day tasks and having to re-learn different technology are all common reasons for this resistance, so businesses need to work with employees and do all they can to prevent this. Involving the end users of the system from the beginning of the process takes out the uncertainty and helps negate some of this fear. Ensuring the benefits of the change are outlined clearly will help users to feel positively about the situation and be more on board with the move.
2. Listen to the users
Don’t forget to ask employees for feedback, as they are ultimately the users of the CRM. To encourage user adoption, employees must want to use the system, so don’t ignore what they say. At the end of the day, you want employees to utilize the CRM to its full potential therefore encouraging regular feedback is best practice to make sure any problems don’t go unsolved.
3. Make sure the software is easy to use
Overcomplicated systems and non-technical users are a recipe for disaster. The whole point of CRM software is to improve efficiency and productivity, not hinder it. Therefore, the CRM should be tailored to suit the needs of the users, as opposed to users having to fit their processes around the solution.
A clean, easy-to-read interface with relevant information is essential. If it is too cluttered, users will get confused or distracted so you want to avoid this. Speak to the users within your company to find out what they want, more customizations can be made later.
4. Rubbish data in, rubbish data out
Your CRM is only as good as the information put in, therefore if users are putting inaccurate data in, only inaccurate insights will come from it. Ensuring the data you migrate is up to date and accurate is essential, so make sure users understand this point in order to get the most out of your system.
5. Provide user training
Within any organization there will be different levels of user capabilities, so it’s important to gauge this before any training commences. However, keep in mind that frequent innovation brings more capabilities, so refresher training may be useful for those who were trained a while ago. Usually, the partner who implements your CRM will offer user training, so it’s worth asking if this hasn’t been suggested already.
6. Create ‘CRM Champions’
Within the organization, have a ‘go-to’ contact that staff can approach when they need help, whilst also providing easy access to a knowledgeable resource. As the champion within your organization, this user will have a great understanding of both the software and the business, which will allow for them to get the best out of the software and other employees.
CRM partners who offer training should also offer ‘super user’ training, going more in-depth with the champion user and passing on extensive knowledge so they are set to help others.
7. Make it fun
Gamification is an increasingly popular element within CRM and is a great incentive for employees to use the system effectively. Badges, dashboards and rewards can be offered for those users who participate and use the system, while also encouraging friendly competition amongst teams.
Implementing CRM software is not an instant process and getting users on board takes time. However, it’s an important investment to make and one that will provide long-term benefits if done correctly. By following the tips listed above, your business will get the most out of the software and be on the path to CRM success...
Author: I’m the Marketing Co-Ordinator for PragmatiQ Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner. We design and implement tailored CRM systems, supporting businesses in managing their customer relationships, streamlining operations and gaining insights from their data.