In the last discussion, we spoke of the evolution of CRM, and how it has morphed and matured into a tool with far more functionality than ever before. CRM has grown to add new features and functionality, taking on new tasks and tasks that previously were provided by stand alone tools.
In today’s discussion, we will dissect the tool to its most important functions, those which are sometimes masked by the “fluff”. Any CRM system that lacks these features is incomplete and will only come to haunt the user once they really get to know their CRM. In a “functionally successful” CRM the devil is in the detail. The reason these products exist is to handle large data bases and provide the user an easy avenue to important but detailed information about their customer. The most important aspects of this information is detailed as general information is usually available on the Internet. A dealership of today which is attempting to choose a CRM, must be bale to separate fluff from core functionality.
The primary core functionality is how easily and how quickly, the user can access the most important information they seek about their client and once at hand how complete and how accurate is that information. Other core functionalities are, once the user gets “to know” this customer, how easily and how quickly, the user can communicate and address the needs of this customer without overwhelming him or the user himself.
As is obvious, the larger the company, and hence the data and the more information there is about a customer, the more complex these core functionalities become. But, if a CRM is not designed with these core functionalities in mind, no matter how much fluff is offered along with the tool, the user will either have to compensate by devising some highly convoluted processes to address his needs or become frustrated and walk.
This is why many dealerships are literally petrified of changing CRM. They envision yet another “incomplete” tool that they have to learn some complex processes to get where they want to go. If the CRM of choice has been designed at the onset properly with data base capabilities that truly address the complexities of the data these fears are not well based.
A solid CRM tool should perform all the complex tasks behind the scene and make the life of user easy. Also, another sign of a “deficient” CRM is need for too much training. Most employees of the dealership are used to working on the web and handling basic software tools. A core functionality of the CRM must be self training and ease of use.
In the next week’s blog, we will further examine these core functionalities and actually tie them to specific information at the dealership level.