There are many different CRM systems on the market today, from systems you run locally on your computer, to systems that run off the Internet like Sugar CRM, and Lizzy CRM. There are also many different ways to work those systems into your day to day routine. In this article we’re going to take a look at some of the more important aspects of a good CRM Workflow and how one might implement a workflow that minimizes problems and complaints.
The first thing to realize about a CRM solution is that everything revolves around the customer. While this seems straight forward on the surface, it has a much deeper issue that has to be acknowledged from the start.
“Before you speak with a customer about ANYTHING, you must first locate his or her record in your CRM System”.
This means that when the phone rings and an upset customer is on the phone screaming in your ear, you must ask them for their name and/or phone number in order to find their record. There can be no exception to this (EVER). This is probably the single most important aspect of properly using any CRM system you purchase.
Once we’ve worked through the fact that we always need to find the customer we’re speaking with, the next aspect of properly using the system is going to be to always log a call for them. This is one of the reasons that the Lizzy CRM solution has the locate menu always available on the left and the Log Correspondence menu right below it.
You shouldn’t have to hunt for the core requirments of any good CRM System.
There are procedures that need to be learned on whatever CRM solution you choose for properly logging calls. In Lizzy CRM we go into a bit more depth than most systems because we feel its important to be able to quickly see inbound/outbound and sales and support type calls all broken apart. So Lizzy asks you this information during the inital setup of the call. If you’re using Salesforce or SugarCRM as your solution, they don’t track calls nearly the same way as we do, but there is still a procedure that needs to be followed in order to collect the data properly, so that you can use it later.
The point so far, should show that we first need a customer list, or we need to create it as the calls come in. We next need to locate the proper customer that we’re speaking with. We then need to record that conversation in order to track what was said, who we spoke with and if there is any follow up needed.
In Lizzy CRM it’s important to make this part of the conversation, because we also keep track of how much time your reps are on the phone with each customer.
The things we’ve spoken about so far are the absolute very basics in any CRM process you setup.
So what is left?
The answer to this question really depends on the solution you’re using and what you’re doing with it. If you did nothing but what we’ve mentioned above, you’re already lightyears ahead of what most companies do with their systems, but lets discuss a few other possibilities.
First, does your system support a PDM ticketing process where upon you can create and manage tickets for each customer? If so, then on issues that may take some time or need others attention, you could bring that module into the daily processes to help manage the extra information.
Does the system allow you to create FAQ’s for your staff? Does it allow you to do quotes? Does it allow you to actually perform sales and track your inventory?
All of these things create additional avenues for you to better manage your companies data and they should all be pursued. At the end of the day, the goal needs to be getting more streamlined and organized than you were the day before. Sometimes this takes a little experimenting, sometimes it will jump off the page and be very obvious and eventually it will become very difficult to improve upon. This is when you know that you’re getting close to a good solid set of procedures.
One thing never changes though, Locate/Create the contact record and Log the Call!