Businesses looking to meet their customer service aims with a catch-all solution from one CRM vendor should take note: CRM is not simply about one technology or one set of processes; it is a journey.
To deliver an effective CRM strategy it is necessary to allow the best technology for each element of the strategy to flourish in its own right.
Integrating them with a CRM system to achieve efficiency gains makes sense but restricting yourself to working with a single CRM vendor will impede your journey.
While many CRM vendors consider building add-on modules for specialist areas like complaint and feedback management there are a number of reasons why taking this approach can cause process inefficiencies and lead to increases in customer dissatisfaction.
Effectively managing complaints to drive process improvements and increased customer satisfaction is a complicated process that requires expert knowledge of the marketplace.
Specialist vendors have years of experience providing complaint software to different markets and have developed in-depth knowledge of each sector and its needs.
This knowledge has been commoditised to provide best practice applications that deliver tangible value. CRM vendors will not have this understanding, and explaining it to them can be time consuming and risky.
If you are approaching your CRM vendor to develop a module to handle complaint management you are asking them and paying them to understand the process, design the system and build the functionality.
Simply stated, the main advantage of buying a specialist application is that the understanding and the functionality is already there. The product already exists: it is a known quantity in the market so the risk to the organisation is significantly reduced.
A specialist vendor will be able to implement complaints software configured to meet the unique requirements of your organisation in a fraction of the time it would take a CRM vendor to even understand what those requirements are.
Not only is bolting on custom modules developed by a CRM vendor a risky tactic, it isn¹t necessarily the most cost effective one either, given that specialist vendors have already developed robust applications that can be easily and seamlessly integrated into existing CRM systems delivering proven and measurable benefits from day one.
Existing complaint management software has a track record of delivering value to organisations by streamlining workflows, monitoring the quality of processes, enhancing productivity, highlighting issues and potential threats to the business and driving change: all areas that ultimately reduce costs and provide meaningful, improved services.
Then there is the issue of support. Will your CRM vendor¹s helpdesk be able to provide comprehensive support with a problem that isn¹t part of its core solution?
Most specialist software vendors have helpdesks that are open 24/7 and guarantee availability of expert advice. From the point of installation, you stand to be provided with guaranteed access to patches, software updates, user groups, updated documentation and technical support to ensure your organisation is kept up to date with changes in technology and the current market requirements.
When it comes to CRM as a strategy - or a mindset - it is clear that a variety of specialist tools are needed to deliver the vision. Businesses cannot expect to meet all of their customer relations strategy needs by working with one CRM supplier. Only by recognising the limits of CRM technology will you make your CRM vision a reality.
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