A Gartner study shows that the CRM market is expected to reach $36.5bn worldwide by 2017. Due to the distinct advantages of using CRM—improvement of 27% in customer retention and ROI of $8 for every $1 spent are just some of them—more and more companies globally are adopting CRM.
As a growth oriented organization, there are many things you should consider before buying a CRM tool. The fact that there are many myths surrounding CRM does not help. Here, we have unraveled for you the ten biggest CRM myths.
Myth 1: CRM is all about customer service.
Reality: CRM has certainly taken customer service to new heights; but it is wrong to assume that it is only useful in the area of customer service. Modern CRM tools aid and assist various other business operations like sales and marketing, call center management, contact management, managing business opportunities etc. The data it holds can help businesses plan their strategy and make wise and informed decisions.
Myth 2: CRM is a Buy-Install-Use deal.
Reality: Implementing CRM in an organization requires careful planning. Before purchasing the tool, you need to identify the areas where you think a CRM tool will be most useful and determine what you expect to achieve through the tool in each area. Sufficient training needs to be given to employees before roll-out. Implementation is best done in an incremental manner. Measure ROI at intervals to find out if the tool is indeed generating the returns you expected. If not, review your processes and incorporate corrections before you extend the tool to other areas. Hiring external consultants is worth the expense as they can train employees and guide them through the implementation phase.
Myth 3: CRM is an IT responsibility.
Reality: CRM is not just a software package to automate everyday tasks. It is the way you do your business. It needs involvement from all layers of staff. Business managers have better understanding of customer service, sales, marketing or dispatch than IT managers. They are fully aligned to the key process areas that determine the growth of a business, technology being just one such area. Hence, they make an ideal choice to drive CRM in an organization.
Myth 4: CRM easily fits into your current infrastructure.
Reality: This is a myth that most businesses that are new to CRM believe. Actually, integrating CRM to your current infrastructure can be challenging. Data is at the core of CRM. A business might have a gazillion data accumulated over the years. Data from different sources need to be assimilated, mapped and loaded in a logical, non-redundant format into the tool. Also, existing tools and portals need to be reviewed to eliminate process redundancies. Right planning makes the process smooth and cost effective.
Myth 5: A great CRM tool is all you need to keep your customers happy.
Reality: CRM can help manage your customers better, but at the end of the day, it is how your customer service personnel handle your customers that will determine how satisfied your customers are. Cutting edge CRM tools will not bring back your customers. Warm and efficient customer service will. CRM is no magic wand. It can only provide the intelligent data needed to take the right decisions.
Myth 6: You need to start using your CRM tool 100% to generate good ROI.
CRM tools come loaded with many functions. It is up to businesses to decide what is useful to them and what will simply confuse their employees. A full-blown adoption will have huge training requirements that may leave employees floundering. A slow and steady adoption will give employees time to adjust to the tool.
Myth 7: Purchasing a CRM tool is an executive decision.
Reality: Management needs to ensure all employees are on-board before purchasing the tool. Employee polls can help to identify all areas where the tool may be useful. Without employee buy-in, your business might fail to realize the full potential of the tool. Customer surveys are useful in understanding customer expectations and pain points, which your business can try to address through the tool.
Myth 8: CRM is essential for all businesses to succeed.
Reality: A herd behavior may not be the right approach to decide if you need CRM solutions or not. A few situations where CRM is a sound investment:
- Your business is geographically distributed.
- You have a large number of customers with multiple customer touch points each day.
- Your customer data is spread over different systems.
- You find it difficult to generate useful reports and identify business opportunities.
Myth 9: You pay for what you buy.
Reality: Implementation costs of CRM are often over and above the purchase price quoted by the vendor. Even with a subscription model, the true cost of ownership may be higher than what you had expected. You may want to consider installation/maintenance charges, customization costs and hidden fees, if any. In case of cloud CRM, consider the data storage charges that grow as your data grows or the upcharges for cross-system data retrievals.
Myth 10: Cloud CRM is expensive and unreliable, and security is a big concern.
Reality: Cloud providers take great precautions to maintain data security, if only to stay in business. They adhere to international security certifications. They have sophisticated firewalls, security protocols and data encryption, which serve to secure your data. Those who are still worried about data security can consider adopting hybrid or private cloud. Cloud is easy to install and gives 99.99% uptime. Redundancy ensures your business does not need to halt because of a server failure. You don’t need to maintain expensive infrastructure, which brings down IT costs.
With a plethora of CRM tools flooding the market today, buying the right tool is a tough decision. Suyati’s expertise can help you decide the best CRM tool that answers your business needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about our CRM capabilities.
Image Credit: Kristina Alexanderson on Flickr