The user interface and why it can make or break CRM integration
Meritec's Customer Experience Management software (CXM360) is a modern CRM for the digital age that allows Councils and Social Housing Associations to vastly improve the customer experience. Allowing data, contacts and requests for service to feed into the platform via multiple digital and non-digital channels whilst integrating with any number of back-office systems to allow advisors instant access to the data they need, when they need it without having to access multiple systems.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are used across various businesses and organisations to record customer interactions, collect customer data and create detailed audience profiles. The insights and information held on a CRM can be used to understand customer behaviour and guide future business decisions.
However, the success of a CRM depends heavily on its integration with existing systems and the willingness of both customers and employees to use it.
A poor design can impede functionality and frustrate users, leading to the CRM not being used correctly and, therefore, not delivering the benefits it should.
What makes a good user interface?
An effective CRM will make life easier for you, your employees and your customers by increasing efficiency, removing duplication of tasks and providing real-time updates.
No unnecessary steps
The best CRM systems are simple to use with minimum screens and steps, easy-to-use menus and no duplication of tasks. Data should automatically feed through to the relevant databases, and workflows should be streamlined for greater efficiency and ease of use. The system should be frustration-free for customers and employees.
Minimal training required
CRM systems that require technical knowledge, extensive training and ongoing support are unlikely to get high levels of engagement. Unless someone is constantly tracking activity, users are likely to revert to using old systems, which can lead to a CRM full of incorrect, inconsistent or out-of-date information.
A good CRM will be intuitive and simple to use so that every user can easily integrate it into their day to day work.
Using the systems should be self-explanatory and straightforward, with users knowing where to find help. If the CRM has been built to be user-friendly, then the level of training required to use the system will be minimal.
Quick adoption and engagement
If a system makes life easier, people are more likely to embrace it. A well-designed CRM will start delivering benefits immediately, meaning adoption rates will be high. If the user interface is straightforward, internal and external users will encourage others to use it too.
One of the primary objectives of a CRM is to collect customer data and information. Therefore, a good CRM will allow easy data extraction and real-time reporting. Restrictions can also be added to ensure data is only accessible to authorised users.
Automation of workstreams
A CRM is not simply a data collection and storage tool. CRMs play a huge role in automating tasks such as emailing documents to customers, sending reminders, and flagging up urgent enquiries so that deadlines aren’t missed.
Built with your customers in mind
Many off-the-shelf CRMs come with certain features as standard. While these features may benefit some businesses, they aren’t relevant to all organisations. The best CRM systems are designed around your organisation, taking into consideration how you serve your customers, the services they need, and the way they want to access these services.
Integrated with existing systems
For a CRM to be most successful, it should work with your existing systems and fit with how you already operate rather than requiring a complete overhaul of your processes.
Your CRM should integrate with:
- Telephone and email systems
- Social media and marketing functions
- Accounting and finance systems
- Frontline and back-office systems
- Third-party systems (where applicable)
Responsive and scalable
The needs of your customers and your workforce will evolve, and your CRM system will need to evolve too. Investing in agile solutions with flexibility and scalability allows you to future proof your CRM to ensure it continues to serve its purpose as your organisation grows.
Any online digital platform should be built with security in mind, and a CRM system is no different. If customers are required to input personal details, they’ll want peace of mind that this data is protected. GDPR compliance should be a key consideration of any CRM.
Meritec’s CXM 360
Many traditional CRM systems have been designed primarily as a tool for sales teams, and they are internally focused, with little consideration for the customer.
Although some of these systems have a good interface for internal users, they can lead to customer frustration rather than an enhanced experience.
Meritec’s CXM 360 is different. It has been developed specifically for local government and housing associations, so it addresses the specific needs and challenges of these organisations.
As well as offering all the functionality of a traditional CRM, it offers a fully joined up, 360-degree view of your customers, enabling real-time data and a wealth of management information. Plus, it can be seamlessly integrated with your existing systems.
Customers can self-serve 24 hours a day through their preferred channels, and the online portals are completely secure and GDPR compliant. Our CXM 360 has been designed for agility and flexibility, allowing you to scale as your organisation’s needs evolve. Built on our low code digital platform, you can control the content and customise the features to suit how your organisation works both now and in the future. And you only pay for the functionality you need.