CRM in SmallBiz: Disappointing MisconceptionsWritten by Dinko Bacun
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If he doesn't like computers, all better. If he later likes results, you can be sure everyone else will. Assign him full time as a liaison, and let him guide implementation. Have everyone know all doors must be kept open for him. Remember, CRM implementation is about KNOWLEDGE of how your company functions. It is about how EXISTING customer care procedures (remember misconception number one?) are automated (complemented, modified) by computers. And if there is no such person(s) within your company? Well, that leaves YOU. I bet you didn't want to hear this, but remember that everyday customer relation procedures will be done by your people, not SW vendor. Which brings us to misconception number four. CRM is sales automation. No, no, no, it is customer support. No, no, no, it's lady who says hello answering phone on helpdesk. No, no, no, it's operator who chats with potential customer on web site. Actually, it is all of above. In a company, sales people seldom talk with support people. And vice versa. As if those were two different non competing companies so they have little to talk about. Last few months everybody talks about customer retention. Which is normal as it is much easier and cheaper to sell again to an existing customer, than to get a new one. But only if he received good customer support and service, that is. So a good CRM SW solution would have some data common to everybody (name, address, phone, etc), but also data needed by sales, procurement, helpdesk and support. This does not mean you have to have an ERP system, it just means that you need some extra fields which are specific to each department. Ideally, you yourself would be able to add some extra fields as needed, without becoming a programmer. Which brings us to misconception number five. After first year of coughing and hiccuping, your CRM solution is finally in place and humming nicely. You are getting all that nice data you needed, and you are finally able to watch and build your customer relations. So you are home and free. If you need an extra report, or an extra field, you'll call SW vendor and he will make necessary changes. Well, that's not entirely true. The life of your company is not static. It changes daily. The same way, your CRM solution cannot be static. If your sales person needs to call an IT liaison, explain to him change he needs, then to SW developer, then wait for implementation, you can be sure that he will not do it. He will rather scribble it into his note book or Excel sheet on his notebook. He should be able to do just that in your CRM solution. Which means you should have a modifiable solution, one in which you can add fields and tell system how to handle them. But that means you will have to invest time to learn how to do it. Or leave it for later when you will have more time. Which is misconception number six. People tend to search for a CRM software solution when they cannot cope any more with traffic. By then, it is too late. It is late in sense that you have to implement a solution in which you have to invests time, and time you don't have. That means that implementation will be much longer, it will cost much more in hours, lost business, poor customer service, which means you will spend more hours dealing with a customer, you will have less hours in sales, you will have to hire more people... There is no nice way to tell you, so I will say it straight out: You should start implementing a CRM system, moment you start using PC in promotion and sales. And that is now, isn't it? So what really is difference between a CRM software system and old, traditional relations with your customers? Documentation and analysis. With a CRM software system you have historical data which you can analyze. Analyzing our customer support data we found out that about 60% of our helpdesk activity was done with new customers (within 2 months of purchase) which is normal, but about 90% of those incidents were trivial questions about simple use of functions. Although we were issuing three manuals and giving a six day course to our customers, we decided to issue a special cookbook for novices, based on most common questions. The style was light, simple and straightforward, one page max per function. It was a double jeopardy. Novice interventions dropped to about 30% and customers had a feeling they were driving system, not other way around. So we were both happy. And that's called customer satisfaction, right?
Dinko Bacun CEO of Tendriks firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.CarpioHelpdesk.com
Guaranteed Traffic Generators!Written by Chad Hall
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3. Text Only versions of your site. If your page is available to other countries, as our is, it is a good idea to have a text only version of your site. Why? Because most of people who are not located in United States do not have Internet connection speeds that we here in US take for granted. Most of these people also have older computers with slower processors and low graphics capability. It has to be annoying for people in foreign countries to go to a site that has a product that they need, only to find out that they can't read fancy Flash programming. I do not currently have this text only version, but I am working on it as we speak. So, to all of you in foreign countries, I have listened to your requests, and I am taking action!
4. New Killer Content. Sure, you can have two thousand pages on your site. But, if someone has read them all, why would they come back? You have to continuously update your page and add new killer content. I suggest a weekly column or monthly bulletin. You just need something to keep visitors interested in book marking your site for future viewing.
If you really want to gain visitors, then you will. When I started our site, we had 25 visitors a day. Now, we have had 100,000 NEW visitors in past three months. We now have a 50% return visitor rate. In our industry, that is good. For our business, it is working phenomenally! The last bit of advice I can offer is to continually read Web Pro News daily! It offers intelligent and cutting edge information, which will help your web site grow exponentially.
Chad Hall Custom Electronics, Inc. Webmaster Jr. Design Engineer Manufacturing Engineer CAD Systems Coordinator URL: http://www.customelec.com E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 1-877-RELY CEI Fax: 607-432-3913