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Usability A Factor in CRM Systems

When I worked in a large non-profit organization we used a custom CRM type system that tracked interactions with over 50,000 people. I hated the system because I new things could be better, faster and more useful. In fact, I only used it to pull contact details into my own system that I used to monitor and build relationships with the 250+ people I was involved with. There was constant discussion and analysis of the system by all who used it.

Dave over at B2Blog has a summation of his experience with the different types of CRM system users that really resonates:

Power-user: One who wants to make the most of the tool they've been given and are willing to explore its capabilities. Symptom: "I think I screwed something up." Thankfully, I'm not the only one.

Power-ignorant: Those who use the software, but aren't aware how the software is there to benefit them and make their lives earlier. Symptom: "I didn't know you could do that."

Power-less: Those who simply don't understand what to do. Most likely these are field salespeople somehow. Symptom: "Can you show me that again?"

Power-trip: One who understands the software and its capability but takes short-cuts or does it the old way. Symptom: "I'll figure that out later."

These classifications apply to many different software and technology systems.

What's important here are the Tells or symptoms that indicate which category a user is in. Keeping this in mind will help you see just what the effectiveness of your system is. There are two ways to think about your CRM system. One, what are the real results, the ROI of the system. Two, what is the frustration level for the users. Are the means to the end subtracting from the end? Are productivity losses overshadowing the gains from the system?

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January 24, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech | Permalink

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