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How to Select a CRM System

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experiences they expect, it can determine which processes to place at the top of its priority list.

"A company doesn't need to have a great mobile implementation if all of its contact center people are sitting in a chair eight hours a day. They...need almost [nothing] from a mobile perspective. Managers might need [mobile solutions] because they move around the office throughout the day. They might need dashboards and things like that, but the average people [don't]."

On the contrary, if salespeople are out in the field, you need to know if they need analytics, customer purchase history, or product information. It's important to understand what they need in their hands.

A customer might prefer to communicate with an agent online rather than via telephone. But in any case, that customer would still expect the agent to have on hand the same information regarding his purchase history that a phone agent would have. If a company understands what the customer expects during engagements, it will better be able to select the processes to focus on, thus creating more pleasant experiences.

Work with the Right Vendor

5. Research as much as possible.

In the early days of CRM, it was harder to find product information and reviews publicly. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Companies have more information at their disposal than before. In addition to free, publicly available information and reviews, organizations can purchase analyst reports. But perhaps the best way to research a CRM vendor, consultants suggest, is to ask vendors for customer references—and call them.

Fortunately many vendors have taken on more responsible and communicative roles with their customers, providing comprehensive guidance and training when needed.

3CLogic, a cloud contact center solution provider, operates entirely through Amazon Web Services. The company holds that to prepare clients for an implementation, it sometimes needs to meet with them. "We...focus on what it is [the company is] trying to accomplish, and what the parameters of that goal are," Robert Killory, chief innovation officer at 3CLogic, says. "So, for example, if they've got a good CRM system and they like it, but they're not using it to its fullest, we'll sit down with them and go through the business objectives." After understanding a customer's objectives, a vendor such as 3CLogic tries to figure out what technology may be added, as well as what could potentially improve the success or profitability of the company.

Guillaume Seynhaeve, marketing director of 3CLogic, adds that the company tries to understand what makes each customer unique, and how to mold its solution to the customer to achieve the desired end goals. "[We try to do that] without necessarily having to force them to 

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