From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Increase Usage To Improve Measures

Last issue shared with you lead generation strategies to increase the quality of your new customer relationships. In today belated lesson, you'll learn how customer relationship management (CRM) user acceptance influences the success of lead generation efforts.

Remember lead generation is just one way to initiate new customer relationships, but it's also a way to understand the desires of buyers of your product or service.

Lead generation is also a tool that measures the desires of any group of individuals -- i.e. what training programs do employees respond? When a lead raises their hand to request additional information, they are telling your organization they are interested.

Strong business relationships grow from serving the desires of your "customers" whether internal or external to your organization.

Later this month, you'll learn how to double your lead generation response with segmentation and improved user acceptance.

Best regards,

Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Is CRM User Acceptance Costing Accuracy That Keeps You From Stronger Customer Relationships?

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Your only link between customers and solid customer data is an individual at a single interaction point. If this individual isn't comfortable or willing to use your customer relationship management (CRM) system, then you could lose in areas of accuracy that could keep you from strong customer relationships.

Without Usage CRM Doesn't Support Relationships

When users don't accept CRM as a tool that improves their own job, resistance shows in poor customer service. If users don't use CRM, you can't create any benefit from it. Tool usage is critical to value.

  1. See customer relationship management as a data collection tool. A properly used CRM system will collect details you'll need to understand true customer desires.
  2. Consider the ramifications of not properly managing account details. Help users understand how the new software enhances or eliminates certain ways of organizing information. Inaccurate data leads to bad decisions.
  3. Invite user feedback early in your CRM integration efforts. Find out what data is necessary and how users want to use it to benefit their ability to building business relationships.

Test user acceptance by monitoring usage, level of support calls related to the software, and any measurable increases of productivity around customer support. In addition, look at the interaction between data inputted between departments across customer interaction points.

Usage Is Gained By Making CRM A Value To The User

To reduce user frustration with customer facing software tools like (CRM, ERP), build the tool around a user's role or specific requests that help their job effectiveness. Often this means just customizing the interface to improve data entry, prompt users for relevant service details, or adjusting software workflow around existing common processes. Build user proficiency into your tools to improve user acceptance.

  1. Include software tools as part of core job training. Teach your software tools as an integral part of the customer-facing individual's job. Too often software training is an afterthought or taught separate from an individuals responsibilities.
  2. Build your data collection tools like CRM around current processes. Instead of replacing what you already do; use software to enhance current processes. At least simplify paper forms and simplify information access.
  3. Reduce resistance by implementing key enhancements in stages. User acceptance improves when small noticeable improvements provide an easy to follow path to clear objectives.

The best end user management starts with discovering exactly what is necessary to improve an individual's ability to serve your customer. System users include members of sales, marketing, and service departments. If you can make their jobs easier with the system you choose, they are more likely to use them to build customer relationships.

Better Usage Improves Your Knowledge Of Customer Desires

Without user acceptance, it is difficult to trust the accuracy of what you know about customers. Make it easy to capture key customer data that improves your ability to build stronger relationships. Incorrect data entry from any CRM user causes future errors that increase service costs and quality.

  1. Stress the importance of non-transaction details stored in CRM. Notes about ever customer interaction help reliably solve issues even weeks after an instance. Users frustrated with the system won't put their notes in it.
  2. Make active note taking a part of the customer relationship process. Active note taking means documenting and verifying your understanding of a conversation. Help users make taking this type of note a part of doing business.
  3. Help users succeed by having all data customers may desire at an interaction. Use your CRM tools as a way to make employees look good, or at least to have a better understanding of customer needs.

Use outside databases to check the accuracy of data input, even append data to save users time while improving customer data quality. Focus on collecting usable data rather than just volumes of information; involve users from different areas of your organization to determine which details are most relevant for building customer relationships.

For any of your customer relationship building activities to pay off, support the connection between customers and your data storage system at each interaction point. Gain end user acceptance early to make your CRM system a strong part of your efforts to build stronger customer relationships.

© Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ achieving-roi | bi-crm /

Finally a CRM strategy that addresses all areas of improving business relationships. Tool Kit provides systematic implementation guidelines to help you get more from your customer relationship management investment. Visit here to get more from your CRM software

Justin Hitt is a strategic relations consultant and the author of "27 Ways to CRM Return on Investment" (Tool Kit) available on-line. For more information, visit

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