How to Build a CRM System

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Customer Relationship Management is an information technology system that is used by organizations to identify, attract and win new clients and retain old ones. This system is used to store information about customers, which can be accessed by employees across the board. The information is categorized and stored in an easy-to-use format and is used to offer the best service to customers. When this happens a company’s efficiency is enhanced resulting in higher profit margins. The higher profit margins realized by organizations that have adopted a CRM system are a stimulant for other companies to follow the example and build a CRM system for themselves.

Round Up Support

Get support from the top executive. This will ensure that building the CRM system is not perceived as an IT project. When top executives are involved their opinion is bound to influence the subordinates who will then be willing to cooperate and adopt the new system. According to Matt Hasan, PhD, a managing principal of the Sigillum Corp. in Delaware, the input of the end-user is crucial for the success of CRM in a company. The consent of top management will also ensure that adequate funds to drive the CRM project will be available.

Put together the company’s vision. Hasan says that the vision, a statement of what is desired, should be accompanied by an actionable strategy, that is, a plan for how to achieve it. A vision is best created by getting an input from all the departments in the company. This is advisable as it ensures that everyone is on board when it comes to implementing the CRM.

Research which kind of CRM system is best fitted for the company depending on the vision and strategy identified. According to Business Link, these systems fall into four categories. First, outsourced solutions are ideal where the company has to implement the solution quickly but it does not have the capability to develop the system from scratch. Second, off-the-shelf solutions are ready made and the most affordable options. Buy software that can be integrated with existing packages. Third, a customized solution is ideal as it takes into consideration the company’s specific needs. This is an expensive option, though. Finally, in managed solutions, a cross between customized and outsourced, the organization rents a customized chain of CRM applications.

Create a data warehouse to store information centrally. Get information about customers from the company’s corporate data. Put together all existing information of clients. Ensure that the information is correct. Use spreadsheet programs to identify patterns among the customers and group them together. After grouping, the customer information can be accessed by end users in a useful format.

Train the end users how the CRM system works. According to Leo Santoso in his paper at the Proceedings of the 2008 International Joint Conference in Engineering, Jakarta, Indonesia, the lack of skill in using a system presents a major problem in the adoption of CRM. After the training the end-users effectively the CRM system is ready for use.

Monitor and measure the success of the system by evaluating whether the objectives set before implementation have been met or how far along the company is toward meeting them.

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