Efficiency: According to dictionary.reference.com efficiency is “accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort: The assembly line increased industry’s efficiency.”
With that definition, sure, CRM Software can improve efficiency. Unfortunately, the efficiency comes with a cost. However, notice that efficiency is not defined as “doing more with less”. Let me break it down using the assembly line reference made by dictionary.reference.com.
Prior to an assembly line, an automobile could be made by one person. True that person may only make one auto every 180 days, but a single person could in effect start an auto manufacturing plant and run it himself. With an assembly line method, while being more efficient according to the dictionary definition, it takes 100 plus people (according to some articles, thousands of people) to make one automobile. Certainly, the assembly line is creating many more autos per year, and even more than the same number of people could create each working on an individual automobile, but the efficiency did not come without a heavy cost. Millions of dollars must be spent and thousands of employees must hired and trained before the first car comes off of the line.
The same is true with CRM Software in relation to sales and customer service. CRM Software can help you to know more about your customers and remind you to take action on that knowledge. However, in order for this to happen, processes must be designed and implemented and training given to all users. Data must be compiled and kept up-to-date. Users must use the system and complete the action as recommended by the system. A lot of time and effort will go into the initial implementation and setup of the CRM system before a single benefit is seen.
Ultimately, it is my belief that a CRM software system can increase efficiency, but it is also my belief that a CRM system should be implemented because a company desires to improve customer service and the customer experience through a broader understanding of the customer’s needs and purchase patterns. Remember this when implementing CRM Software: Superior Customer Service is Inefficient!
Thousands of companies world-wide are reaping benefits from CRM Software, including increased efficiency. These companies each understood and committed to:
- The investment of time and money
- The importance of training
- The mandatory usage of the software by all involved
- The commitment to continuous process improvement brought about by a better understanding of their customer
Much like companies implementing assembly lines in the early 1900s, companies with successful CRM implementations focused on the long term gain offered by CRM Software. These gains include such things as:
- A more thorough understanding of their customer
- Improved communication with the customer
- A proactive approach to sales and customer service
- Automated processes for prospecting and sales