Amey Brown
posted by Amey Brown on November 22, 2018

Photo credit: Eva Gross

Over the years we’ve talked about how CRM isn’t a destination, it’s a journey – that should grow and develop over time as your company adjusts to internal and external changes. What makes this journey fruitful will depend largely on how your CRM users are actually using the system. You may have the latest CRM solution in place with many features, and you may have it lined up with your high level business strategy. But if the day-to-day users hate it, don’t understand it and choose not to use it at all, then your CRM project will fail even before it’s begun.

So, once a new CRM project is put into place, it’s important to focus on gathering user feedback. Not only will this tell you who’s actually using the CRM system, it will also highlight what is working well, expose possible issues, and provide your organisation scope to improve on these stumbling blocks.

Benefits of gathering user feedback

Gathering feedback helps maximise CRM user adoption rates and helps you reap the benefits of system use. Monitoring what users think enables you to assess their engagement which, is essential for success.  Happy users positively affect user adoption rates. This, in turn, enhances performance as your team becomes more efficient and effective at their work – all the gains to be had from using a CRM system properly.

From the user’s perspective, requesting feedback sends a signal that you value their opinion. It involves them in shaping your business. By working together as a team, you can tailor the CRM solution to meet common goals. Of course, it would be impossible to cater to each and every user’s needs, but the key is to ensure everyone is on board with your CRM project and that any issues are addressed.

When to gather feedback

When should you start gathering feedback from CRM users? A good idea would be soon after implementation, and periodically after that. Remember – your CRM solution and CRM users are one and part of the same organic entity, both evolving over time, both needing each other to work properly. After all, we all like it when someone asks us, “how’s it going”, don’t we?

Why gather user feedback?

Marketing today is all about the customer’s experience from using your product or service. Giving the customer the best experience possible will create brand loyalty and improve customer retention. New customers often look at other customers’ reviews to see if the company is really as good as it says.

Back to user feedback – if your CRM users experience friction when using the CRM system, or if certain processes are inefficient or don’t work at all, then their focus on customer experience will wane. They won’t be able to provide your customers with great customer service. If you provide an outlet for them to highlight problems, you ensure that issues are addressed before they impact your customer experience. By keeping your CRM users happy, your customers stand a better chance of being happy.

Ways to collect user feedback

Questionnaires and online surveys can be a practical option, and there are plenty of applications available for free. All responses can be collected anonymously if you want, and data can easily be collated inside your CRM system.

Another great way to collect feedback is via email, which is more personal. Nominate a CRM champion who can act as a sounding board and let people know how to send positive feedback or complaints. Having a person to reach out to is very effective in creating a sense of team-work. Also, increase the ability to collate qualitative answers (as opposed to quantitative replies via a tick-box style questionnaire) as these can provide insights that you may not have considered. Take care, qualitative answers should not be open-ended with no specific questions being asked.

Facts not gut instinct

Finally, when analysing data and making business decisions, you need reliable data. A “gut feel” of how your CRM project is going won’t act as an accurate compass for where you want to steer the CRM ship. A gut feel won’t inform you of how you might want to invest further in order to grow and develop along this CRM journey. User feedback from your CRM users will help you understand how well your current monies are being spent and where else to invest in order to maximise your ROI.

So all in all, it pays off to listen to your CRM users. However, listening is just the beginning – you must also remember to respond with appropriate actions. Take the positive feedback as affirmation that things are being done correctly, and turn the negative complaints into a positive by rectifying the problem! All you have to do is make plans on how you wish to act on both quantitative as well as qualitative feedback from your CRM users.

 

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