How to Choose a CRM System for Your Business Needs
For many companies, customer relationship management (CRM) is synonymous to sales force automation. For most others, CRM simply describes customer support management, contact center, field service, or automation of marketing. Confusion as well as miscommunication about CRM can cause any business to make bad decisions that may lead to losses.
Without a doubt, choosing the right CRM system can significantly help improve productivity of a business and increase customers’ satisfaction. On the other hand, a wrong CRM system can create frustration and chaos on top of high costs. By choosing a faulty system, you may put your business into a worse situation.
With so many CRM systems commercially available in the market today, how can you possibly choose the best one for your business needs? Here are some ideas that can serve as your guide.
This is not pertaining to the dreaded Trojan virus that infects PCs. If you are using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, you may have purchased software that comes with a CRM program. The bundled programs will surely seem to be an ideal packaged solution for a business that intends to save on costs. However, in many cases, such an option can be a Trojan horse that incurs greater costs for integration, customization, and implementation.
Measure the functionality and features against your business’ CRM needs. CRM is basically a broad concept and it may not be the main focus of an ERP software. If the bundled CRM and ERP solution misses CRM features that are logically needed by your business, you might consider investing in a separate CRM solution that would meet your requirements.
Real customization costs
Nothing is perfect as far as CRM solutions are concerned. No program can meet 100% of your business needs. But through customization, you can further make a CRM system helpful and functional to meet your requirements. However, do not fall into the trap created by endless customizations. Your CRM system should be a solution instead of a toolkit.
Beware because some CRM programs may cost minimally when purchased. But constant and continuous customizations may make it costlier in the long run. Also stay away from products that can hardly be customized according to your business needs. To be safe, opt for the simpler and easier-to-use ones.
Too good to be true
Avoid CRM systems that make promises that are almost too good to be true. Remember that the best CRM solutions can eliminate redundancies, streamline processes, and bury inefficiencies. But such programs can never do the work on their own. Your business should first have its own goals and strategies to achieve ideal customer relationship.
As always, before buying a CRM program, opt to test it through the trial offer. You can try as many systems as you like until you finally find the software that will surely turn your business’ customer relationship around. As you use it, you may continuously customize it to make it more useful to your venture.