Microsoft Dynamics CRM





How User Friendly is the CRM Solution - Feature 3

Posted in Microsoft CRM | March 5th, 2007 |

User Friendliness of a CRM solution impacts on it’s success

In this third feature on CRM assessment and questions to consider, we are going to look at the issues to be concerned with over user friendliness - a bad system can be made to work if employees are motivated enough to use it but a good CRM system will fail unless users adopt it and like it.

Consider the following closely:

Ease of Task Flow

Is there a lot of moving from screen to screen, back and forth in order to deal with a task ? Simplification of complex processes is a sign of a good solution.

Conditonal Lookups

This is where the value in a secondary field changes as a consequence of an input in a primary field - if that has confused you take a look at eBay or Amazon - if you select a main category to browse say “DVD’s” the fields below will automatically populate to describe different movie genres - this is a conditional lookup. Now say a customer contacts your service department with a query - taking the product reference in th eprimary field should pre-populate the product information adn common issues for the user to narrow doen the issues and appropriate resolution.

Data Entry

A CRM solution that anticipates what is being typed into a data entry field can save a great deal of time and effort as well as avoiding data input errors. Ask if the CRM solution supports this and practical examples of this form of automatic population of data fields can be found in texting on your cell phone where. A business example would be inputting a state code e.g. AZ for Arizona would then automatically populate the country field as “USA”.

Navigation

A CRM solution acts as a data capture and repository and how this is all organized and presented to a user has a huge effect on adoption by staff. Look for a CRM solution that is going to be easy and simple for staff to train up on and use without wasting time skipping back and forth and presents information in a format they want.

Search Tools

Sales agents in particular need to be able to search and utilize the capabilities of a CRM to store and present client histories as well as the ability to search and organize contact information into groups and apply filters that they can use and fel comfortable with.

Documentation

Ask what documentation will be coming with the CRM solution which is especially vital in the event you start to tailor the solution away from any out-of-the-box CRM offering otherwise you will be reliant on the CRM partner for the life of the product or be faced with unneccessary further expense if you change partners.

Alerts

Does the CRM solution alert users when a certain condition has occurred or is about to arise, say servicing an equipment installation, sales call or a renewal date for a subscription ? Will it identify and notify who needs to take the appropriate action ?

Tomorrow we shall tackle the issues connected with the Automation of the Sales Process.

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