CRM in Action: Inova Tackles Training to Ensure CRM Success

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CHALLENGE: Inova Health System, a not-for-profit healthcare system in Northern Virginia, wanted to ensure the success of its CRM system--a significant challenge in an industry just beginning to deploy this strategy. Inova executives agreed that it was essential to first tackle training. "CRM fundamentally changes the way we build relationships with our customers and patients, so it's not surprising that CRM met some resistance," says Erin Styles, CRM operations manager at Inova. "For example, contacting fewer people to get better results is a hard concept to grasp at first. However, developing tools that simplify and spell out the concepts and steps of CRM removes some of the anxiety." SOLUTION: Inova worked closely with its CRM vendor, CPM Marketing Group, whose system is designed specifically for healthcare companies. The training targeted a wide range of staff, including marketing directors, strategic planning personnel, account managers, and Web and call center staff. It focused on learning about the CRM processes, developing a CRM marketing strategy, running simple queries and reports with analytical software, and measuring ROI. Styles developed a CRM User Guide and a CRM Tools for Organization Implementation program for employees. The User Guide is a hands-on resource including everything from case studies to HIPAA policy. CRM Tools includes the User Guide and features internal CRM news via email, Web seminars, guest speakers, and strategy training. These tools, Styles says, "have helped the staff gain knowledge and a comfort factor regarding our new methods of marketing."
BENEFIT: Following a 12-month obstetrics campaign Inova found itself with 1,606 new patients and more than $20 million in generated charges. Inova also uses its CRM system for planning and campaign management--consequently, the company can identify services with the most potential.
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