It’s a bit of a maze out there! With so many CRM solutions on the market, it’s difficult to make the decision about which one is right for your business.
Your CRM tool should log all the data from interactions with the customer to improve support and provide helpful information to allow the sales, marketing and support team to engage with them correctly. As long as these capabilities are available, the vendors often market themselves as the complete CRM solution. These core functions are undoubtedly important, but equally important is the user interface (UI).
Without a simple-to-use UI, these core functions can get lost.
Organisations implementing a new CRM tool will need to train multiple users within the business. If the UI is over-complicated, this can have an impact on how well these users take up the challenge. Remember, the most important result is that any CRM tool is used to its full capabilities. This will then benefit the business. And for this, you need the users to understand its’ capabilities. If data fields are hidden or too complicated, users will be less likely to complete the forms, and thus under-using the system.
Well-designed UI >>> Better usability >>> User buy-in >>> Effective CRM
The struggle is to find a system with well-designed UI together with some detailed core functionality.
37Signals’ Highrise is a popular product, especially for small businesses. Its simplicity together with its low cost makes it highly appealing. The UI is easily navigable and requires minimal training, but it lacks some core functionality. Highrise omits the important customisation and reporting capabilities, and doesn’t enable the user to easily identify the most profitable contacts or follow patterns in the customer data.
Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are the largest CRM vendors out there and their solutions offer significant customisation and integration. But their products are expensive, so start-up businesses may not be able to afford them. Moreover, for smaller businesses the extensive features can actually be overkill.
Due to their deeper capabilities, the UI is more complex – so it’s easier to get lost inside the application. These systems can hold such a huge range of data that it is hard to see what goes where and why. The functionality is a massive selling-point and is a benefit if used to its full capacity – but too often this just isn’t the case.
Zoho CRM is a tool which has an admirable balance after their UI facelift in 2012. On their website they acknowledged that they needed to value the user experience more highly after receiving some criticism via social media, and made the necessary changes to solve the issues. They realised that a CRM solution should be a helpful essential rather than a place for sales people to spend too much time. It should be quick & easy to navigate and simple to use so users can “focus more on managing their customer relationships and less on CRMing”. They hit the nail on the head with this epiphany, and it has served them well.
User experience is Key!!
Before choosing your CRM tool, remember it is much easier for users to embrace a new system if they don’t have waste time searching for the right field to enter or retrieve their data.
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