Top 3 Design Considerations in CRM for Trickle Up Benefits

How Design Influences User Adoption

When it comes to design, people tend to use what works well for them. The key word there being “well”. An easy to use CRM with good clean design not only increases user adoption and productivity, it has a “trickle up” effect for the entire organization.

What is the trickle up effect in CRM?

crmBright for Associations

Since a well-designed CRM provides numerous user benefits, the organization realizes “trickle up” benefits.  User adoption drives an increase in data.  Lots of good quality data drives compelling analytics on an organization’s key performance indicators thus delivering insight on past and recent performance. This helps drive comparative and historical data to deliver predictive indicators to maximize growth opportunities and thus provide insight to future performance. Good design also helps bring greater user satisfaction. Happy users are more productive and deliver better service which makes customers happy.  Happy customers provide repeat business and referrals.

My Top 3 Design Considerations

When deploying or upgrading your CRM, take into account these top 3 design considerations.

1. Business Process Driven – These days you can turn on most CRM systems and start using them right away. So why bother with gathering your unique business processes? I mean, can’t you just change your process to match the way the CRM works out of the box? Yes and no. Yes, an organization can and should utilize the rich features that come with the CRM system out of the box. No, not all organizations have the exact same processes. Take the time to gather your unique business and data processes as well as reporting needs and then document how CRM and xRM (eXtended CRM) will support each process.

Bing2. Think Clean – Most search providers these days are a simple web page with only a text box – an example of clean purpose driven design. It might help to keep this type thinking in mind. If the system looks cluttered or busy, it is usually more difficult to use and there is a higher risk of user error. Try to include only the items that support an efficient business process. Remove all the extra fields, items, charts, parts, buttons, grids, toolbars, menus, and clutter that do not support the business process. If your CRM supports JScript, JavaScript or multiple role-based forms, then strategically hide fields based on user role or based on other data elements on the form.

CRM Contact Example with Last Touch Field Green3. Sweat the Small Stuff – Attention to detail is key. To maximize user adoption and productivity, make sure you drill into and properly address all the important details – before and after user testing. It is these design details that often make the difference. Visual enhancements tend to work best. For example, changing the color of a particular field on a form.  I often add a “Last Touch” date field to the contact form (click on image to right) which automatically tracks the date of the last activity such as an email, phone call, transaction, note, etc.  If the touch is within 45 days, the field is green. After 45 days, it turns yellow and after 90 days it turns red.  This is immediate visual information on a customer.

Design will influence how users will interact with CRM. Just remember that people tend to use what works well for them.


About crmBright

Bright and innovative solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
This entry was posted in AMS, CRM, User Design, xRM and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


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