With expectations of user experience being at an all-time high - benchmarked by the likes of internet giants Amazon and eBay- it’s important to get it right. As experts in CRM integration we have seen many CRM project problems over the years, and have established our own solutions to minimise these. We’d like to take you through some of the issues that can occur when implementing a new CRM platform, sharing suggestions of a few possible solutions.

1. Problem with poor adoption
Your employees aren’t using your existing CRM, or simply don’t use it optimally because; ‘it doesn’t work’, ‘it’s too complicated’. ‘it’s easier to do it manually’, ‘spread sheets just work’ are just some of the phrases we hear. Many of these issues don’t originate with the technology itself, but stem from peripheral factors such as when the intended users weren’t involved in the project initiation, not being consulted or involved in the selection process or in sharing their requirements. Poor adoption can also be the result of perceived unsatisfactory implementation or inadequate training. It is unusual for the technology to be at fault and not fit for purpose, but it can happen and is always worth getting an external view on this prior to throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

Adoption solutions
In our experience, adoption starts with acknowledging a need and being part of the process to meet that need, considering the solutions and being asked to give perspective on what’s being considered. You are likely to have greater adoption by involving users in the requirements gathering and selection processes as they will feel a personal involvement in choosing the appropriate solution.

We always start our process with discovery workshops, we talk to the users establishing the root causes of issues prior to suggesting potential technology-based solutions. By undertaking this foundation laying activity, previous resistance starts to break down and the people who will actually use the system into the future start to look forward to the end result.

Training and internal communications are major keys to success. Through effective internal communications and keeping your team members in the loop, everyone can feel involved throughout the process and it becomes an integral part of the organisation before the physical asset is delivered. By ensuring that effective training is provided you will find that implementation and adoption will go much more smoothly. If you’ve already implemented a solution and adoption is an issue then further training can often help, , but make sure that you capture their feedback as to what’s not working for them ahead of any training so that those areas can be addressed specifically.

2. Problem with marketing
Is your data quality poor? Is it full of duplicate records because of inadequate integration or poorly defined processes? Incorrect or poorly populated data fields with missing values can present a real problem. Sending an email addressed to ‘Dear >Default Value<’ or something worse could be the beginning of the end of engagement with those members

Marketing solutions
Poor quality data or missing fields can only really be solved by correcting and inputting the relevant data – that can be time consuming but getting your data right, and keeping your data right is an investment worth making!

Having a solid integration, with a well-designed member portal can be a life-saver. By providing self-service capabilities, even just covering basic details, you are effectively enabling members to correct your data. With an effective integration, this data will feed back into your CRM, and with that being connected to your email tools, your marketing efforts should increase in effectiveness, increase in reach and be much more rewarding.

3. Problem with data
There are so many potential ‘data’ issues. Is it stored and passed securely? Was it collected in a GDPR compliant way? If you are unsure, it’s worth undertaking a data audit, making some strategic decisions around implementing a data policy and maintaining it. Many CRMs provide the ability to store information on the provenance or authorisation of opt in against your data. Where these things aren’t recorded or addressed, you could find yourselves in breach of the General Data Protection Act (GDPR).

Data Solutions
Ensuring that your CRM/CMS vendor has a robust security policy in place is a must. It is essential to keep your contact records up to date with relevant information on its collection and ensuring your CRM is the best tool for this job. When thinking about historical data it is worth liaising with marketing and initiating a data validation and protection campaign to capture permissions and update details and contact preferences. With a self-service member portal, that update can be prompted and therefore virtually automated with the user-entered data being saved directly into the CRM – another win for integrated CRM-CMS self-service websites.

4. Problem with your replacement CRM
You’ve already decided it was time for a new CRM, you went through the process of choosing a new vendor, migrating data, integrating the new CRM with your other applications and it still doesn’t work. What went wrong? Did you paper over the cracks without realising? It’s possible that there were problems before that went undiagnosed?

CRM replacement solved!
If the problem is, for instance, poor data or outdated processes, neither of these will be solved with the implementation of new technology, they will merely be transferred. Spend some time analysing the issues, dig deeper into the concerns from your staff, check that you have the functionality required and if you’re falling short, ask your vendor if they can do some additional work to bridge the gap. If in any doubt, an external view can be helpful in providing an impartial perspective.

We talk more about CRM integration – the holy grail in our latest article, but if you want to chat more specifically about where you are heading and would like our perspective please get in touch. We would be happy to share our experience and give you some tips!