How To Get The Most Out Of Your CRM Solutions
Unfortunately there is a lot of poor CRM management practices and many stem from basic mistakes being made in the planning and execution of contact strategies, data management and marketing automation.
In this post we review the the five most common mistakes so that you are forewarned and can avoid them in any data-driven marketing plus we share our best practices so that you can mitigate the risk of these pitfalls.
Mistake #1 - Letting the technology tail wag the marketing dog
It's very common for CRM software to have been selected and even implemented before an understanding of how it is going to be used has even been developed.
This can be dangerous and potentially expensive.
As we have posted before, the growth of technology tools available to marketers is phenomenal and there are 131 separate CRM solutions in 2017. Navigating this landscape without clear business requirements is foolhardy.
Of course every demo of CRM software is going to be great and feature-rich. But if you haven't designed the marketing activities that it is actually going to support then many of the features may never be relevant to your business and you could end up having to customise the CRM software to get it to a usable state.
Mistake #2 - Not thinking about data quality
Data is the fuel of all good CRM so if you compromise on data quality then you will be compromising on the ROI of your CRM programme and on the quality of customer experience that you deliver.
Let's take a step back.
Customer Relationship Management is a process for delivering managing customers through their lifecycle with a brand. It seeks to build positive customer experience by personally relevant to each customer every time they interact with.
And at these interactions it is imperative to deliver the right information to the right customer or prospect through the right channel at the right time.
Data is a critical enabler here. If you have (or suspect that you have) underlying data quality issues then build a plan to address them rather than continuing to close your eyes and hoping that your CRM programme will payback for your customers and your business.
Mistake #3 - Not automating your processes
Modern CRM should be highly responsive and customer driven.
At each of the interactions that your data identifies (#2 above) you should have business rules and automated processes or communications that kick in.
These could be notifications to your sales team to follow up a 'hot' lead based on their behaviour or an email offer to a customer who has placed an order.
If you don't automate then you're probably not being responsive and your CRM activity is probably too expensive or inefficient.
Even worse, responsiveness is the battleground for data-driven marketers and customers are being conditioned to expect timely, relevant and interesting communications; with barriers to switching very low it is important that you get this right.
Mistake #4 - Measuring the wrong things
All CRM should be highly measurable but lots of brands fail to set the right KPIs and tracking.
The result is that many marketers end up concentrating on vanity metrics (eg. size of the customer database) rather than what really matters (eg. how many of the database are active and engaged).
If you are clear on what your CRM programme is trying to achieve and the role that you play for different customer segments then your critical success factors and setting metrics that matter should be relatively simple. You can download our free performance measurement toolkit to get a head-start.
Mistake #5 - Focusing on the business objectives, not customer experience
This isn't meant to contradict mistake #4 above.
The customer is king and too many brands churn out timetabled mass communications rather than being relevant, useful and available when the customer actually needs them.
Get close to the pain points of your customers and figure out how you can reduce pain at these moments of truth.
Then use segmentation to plan and personalise the interactions that you have with each customer.
Unfortunately there is a lot of poor CRM practices and many stem from basic mistakes being made in the planning and execution of contact strategies, data management and marketing automation.
Here are the five common mistakes again for you to avoid:
- Mistake #1 - Letting the technology tail wag the marketing dog
- Mistake #2 - Not thinking about data quality
- Mistake #3 - Not automating your processes
- Mistake #4 - Measuring the wrong things
- Mistake #5 - Focusing on the business objectives, not customer experience