The Horrors Of CRM Pitfalls

By: Nahshon Wingard

It is in your company's best interests to really take a good look at CRM solutions. The advantages of this type of system are numerous. But CRM solutions are not a bed of roses. They are far from quick and easy to implement. The advantages may be numerous but so are the CRM pitfalls. Let us take a look at some of the CRM pitfalls that abound.

Not So Capital, Eh Old Chum?

Let us take a situation where a database's entries are all in capital letters. When the data is retrieved and inserted into a document, it will appear as in the database. That is, in all caps. Obviously, that is not acceptable. You would have to figure out a way to properly transform the letters into the desired case. That probably means porting it over into another program, changing it, and then porting it into your CRM system. As far as CRM pitfalls go, this is subtle. But the real problem is underestimating the time needed for menial tasks such as this.

Go Forth And Multiply?

Another of the CRM pitfalls is underestimating the time and effort needed to populate the database. Manual entry of data not found in existing systems can be extremely tedious. You can take anywhere from few weeks to a few months. This eventually bogs the entire organization down. To nullify CRM pitfalls such as this, consider hiring temporary workers assigned to these manual tasks. It may cost the company some but it is better than taking up the entire workforce's time with data entry tasks. CRM projects fail because people do not expect this transfer to be as difficult as it truly is.

Meet The Standards

You should have a well-designed data template. CRM systems may offer many methods of data input and formatting but this also complicates things. You have to make sure data input is executed in a consistent and organized way or you will end up with a very unwieldy, and ultimately, unusable database. Using pull down menus with standardized answers is a very good step in the right direction. Just make sure you have all the necessary options within that menu.

Keep It Underwhelming

Figure out how many fields and data types you really need in your CRM system. If unnecessary information is required, users may grow frustrated with the system. But if necessary information is lacking, the entire effort may fall apart. Ideally, the right amount of information is present without the presence of unneeded data.

Take care with all these things and you should have a highly usable CRM system. In addition, make sure that your data itself is accurate. Nothing more frustrating than taking hundred of man-hours to input data that is erroneous. Finally, do not forget to make the system user friendly. After all, the data is meant to be used, not just stored. It is important that users be able to retrieve data in an effective and timely fashion to meet whatever needs they may have.

Enterprise Information Systems
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