Why is support so important when choosing a CRM system?
Not all CRM implementation projects are successful, more and more our new customers are moving away from another supplier due to a failed project or a project that has not delivered. One of the questions that I always ask is “why was the last project not a success”? and I get a range of answers from functionality to usability.
However, in almost all cases the more we talk the more it becomes clear that the right level of support was not offered.
Without the right support we can rarely achieve excellence.
If you choose a CRM system purely down to price or functionality and you overlook the levels of support that are offered, you risk missing out on both expert knowledge and also experience. Problems that you encounter may seem larger than they are and as a result they can derail a project. Having the right level of support means you have a guide throughout. With expert knowledge and guidance, you can make better informed decisions and drive the project into excellence.
Your business is unique and so are your needs.
No CRM system is a one size fits all solution, just because your colleague has used a certain CRM in a past job, or a networking group suggest a CRM does not mean that it will fit your business. Your requirements will be different and in many cases a CRM system will need to be adapted or configured to meet your needs.
One of the tell-tale signs of the level of support you will receive long term is the pre-sale or pre-purchase support that you are offered. One of the things we offer is a 1-hour consultation this is completely free and has no obligation to purchase attached to its booking. This is often right at the start of the customer decision making process and includes many areas of discussion.
This is how we begin our support journey with our customers. Another area of Pre-Purchase support, and often the most telling is the questioning stage. As a potential customer you should be able to ask as many questions as you need in order to ensure that you are making the right decision. Take note of how quickly these questions are answered. How they are answered and how comfortable you are with this approach. This will you a lot about what to expect from the company and the support they will offer long term, prior to making your final decision.
Set Up Support
Once your decision has been made you the move in to the design, set up and on boarding stage of the CRM project. During this stage you need to know what level of support you will receive. For us CRM is a partnership and this is where we can showcase the level of support that we offer. However, this is often the area that the customers we obtain from other providers begin to see issues.
There are some key questions that you can ask as part of your decision-making process to ensure you have a level of support that you are comfortable with prior to entering this phase of the project or indeed making a decision at all.
1. How will my CRM system be configured?
2. Will we need any training?
3. Can we make changes ourselves once the initial build is completed?
4. Will we need any additional training?
5. Can we make changes throughout this process?
6. Will we incur any additional charges?
7. How will this process be documented?
8. How will we be kept informed of progress?
9. Will the set up be Project Managed?
10. Will there be ongoing support?
Not all CRM companies will offer ongoing support, those that do may have limitations on what that support covers. If you want to be able to make changes to your own database structure after the initial build or if you want to complete the build yourself, we always advise having a support agreement in place to cover those simple “how do I”? questions. After all unless you have a dedicated CRM team in house at your business (some of our customers do have this, and we can offer a separate Support plan for these companies) you may only make changes a few times a year, and if you forget how to action something you want to be able to get support for this, when you need it.
One of the many things that we offer that is not readily available is ongoing support in the form of database reviews and the option to make changes to your CRM to grow your database in line with your changing business requirements.
CRM should never be a one-off purchase; CRM success comes from an ongoing partnership with the right provider and from the right business. In order to achieve long term success and results.
Let us help you to get it right
If you would like to discuss your own business CRM requirements please feel free to contact us to book your initial 1-hour consultation.
Or is you have any CRM questions please feel free to contact us.