5 Steps to Maximize a Successful, CRM Implementation In Your Call Center

CRM implementation can exponentially accelerate goal-achievement for your call center in the long run, but it can also solicit headaches as new programs are created and employed immediately.  The learning curve for each call center agent alone can be a 3-dimensional maze of confusion, frustration and lost time.

To increase your likelihood of CRM implementation success, consider the following, 5 steps:

[step_graphics style=”3″ color=”#ba0d0d”][step style=”3″ text=”1″ headline=”Level-set%20the%20expectations%20of%20your%20call%20center%20employees”]%3Cp%3EYour%20managers%20and%20agents%20will%20probably%20not%20be%20interested%20in%20a%20change%20in%20the%20flow%20of%20their%20workdays.%20%20Giving%20them%20ample%20time%20to%20adjust%20to%20the%20idea%20that%20a%20new%20CRM%20is%20coming%20in%20the%20near%20future%20can%20mitigate%20some%20of%20the%20tension%20and%20anxiety.%20%20Convey%20to%20them%20that%20you%20are%20aware%20of%20the%20steep%2C%20learning%20curve%20and%20the%20inevitable%2C%20naive%20mistakes%20to%20be%20made%2C%20as%20they%20are%20learning%20the%20CRM%E2%80%99s%20programs.%20%20But%2C%20reassure%20them%20that%20their%20unfamiliarity%20to%20the%20programs%20is%20to%20be%20expected.%20%20Also%2C%20explaining%20to%20them%20that%20there%20will%20be%20reasonable%20expectations%20toward%20goal-achievement%20will%20let%20them%20know%20you%20are%20willing%20to%20be%20understanding%20and%20flexible%20during%20the%20transition.%20%20Overall%2C%20exude%20confidence%20in%20your%20staff%E2%80%99s%20ability%20to%20rise%20to%20the%20challenge.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”3″ text=”2″ headline=”Train%20your%20managers%20and%20agents%20well”]%3Cp%3EA%20complete%20training%20program%20is%20required.%20%20By%20complete%2C%20an%20exhaustive%20program%20will%20include%20initial%20training%20for%20a%20fast%20start%2C%20follow-up%20training%20to%20gauge%20efficiency%20and%20effectiveness%20of%20the%20initial%20training%2C%20and%20on-going%20training%20and%20support.%20%20In%20fact%2C%20a%20well-run%20call%20center%20maintains%20an%20active%2C%20training%20program%2024%2F7.%20%20Because%20agent%20hiring%2C%20training%2C%20retention%20and%20termination%20are%20fluid%20processes%2C%20a%20robust%20training%20program%20is%20vital%20to%20consistent%2C%20agent%20performance.%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”3″ text=”3″ headline=”Backup%2C%20backup%2C%20backup!”]%3Cp%3EAnytime%20you%20are%20moving%20critical%2C%20sensitive%20data%2C%20make%20sure%20that%20you%20have%20backed%20up%20the%20data.%20%20It%20really%20goes%20without%20mentioning%2C%20but%20you%20would%20be%20surprised%20how%20often%20data%20is%20lost%20because%20such%20precautions%20are%20not%20taken.%20%20In%20fact%2C%20assign%20this%20process%20to%20one%20of%20your%20managers%20with%20your%20supervisor%20backing%20him%20or%20her%20up.%20%20Furthermore%2C%20to%20engender%20confidence%20in%20the%20process%2C%20run%20a%20test.%20%20Making%20sure%20as%20little%20to%20no%2C%20necessary%20information%20is%20lost%20is%20paramount.%20%20Therefore%2C%20run%20your%20test%20on%20your%20oldest%20data.%20%20Then%2C%20if%20it%E2%80%99s%20lost%20and%20irretrievable%2C%20it%20will%20offer%20no%20real%20threat%20to%20your%20business.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”3″ text=”4″ headline=”Employ%20a%20comprehensive%20process%20for%20your%20team”]%3Cp%3EWhen%20implementing%20a%20CRM%2C%20it%20is%20important%20that%20you%20follow%20the%20process%20meticulously.%20%20%20Take%20the%20steps%20you%20have%20outlined%20with%20precision%20and%20care.%20%20Be%20consistent%3B%20your%20leadership%20skill%20will%20be%20required%20at%20this%20time.%20%20Your%20call%20center%20managers%20will%20follow%20your%20lead%20if%20you%20exude%20confidence%20in%20your%20plan%20and%20are%20willing%20to%20stick%20to%20it.%20%20Demonstrating%20discipline%20when%20making%20a%20comprehensive%20change%20like%20employing%20a%20new%20CRM%20will%20go%20a%20long%20way%20toward%20building%20team%20cohesion.%20%20Use%20this%20process%20as%20a%20time%20of%20building%20team%20chemistry%20by%20bonding%20together%20to%20meet%20the%20challenge%20of%20such%20a%20change.%20%20Again%2C%20the%20initial%20implementation%20is%20only%20a%20start%2C%20albeit%20a%20stressful%20one.%20%20But%2C%20the%20anxiety%20will%20be%20mitigated%20by%20a%20comprehensive%20game%20plan.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”3″ text=”5″ headline=”As%20always%2C%20measure%20outcomes”]%3Cp%3EWhat%20is%20the%20fallout%3F%20%20Who%20is%20in%20compliance%3F%20%20How%20quickly%20can%20we%20identify%20the%20problems%3F%20%20What%20problems%20are%20most%20significant%3F%20%20These%20are%20just%20a%20few%20questions%20that%20come%20to%20mind%20when%20considering%20the%20actual%2C%20CRM%20utilization.%20%20Have%20your%20managers%20use%20data%20and%20visual%20monitoring%20to%20identify%20the%20most%20challenging%20obstacles.%20%20Observe%20everyone%20on%20the%20floor%3A%20managers%20and%20agents%20alike.%20%20Notice%20moods%2C%20tones%2C%20body%20languages%2C%20and%20word%20usage.%20%20Gain%20an%20understanding%20of%20how%20you%20can%20affect%20attitudes%20on%20the%20team%20by%20giving%20a%20reasonable%20amount%20of%20time%20to%20gathering%20feedback.%20%20At%20first%2C%20resist%20the%20temptation%20to%20criticize%20the%20feedback.%20%20Listen%20patiently%20and%20trust%20your%20data.%20%20You%20will%20be%20pleased%20with%20your%20CRM%20implementation%20results%20if%20you%20will%20listen%20with%20your%20ears%20and%20your%20eyes%2C%20as%20well.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][/step_graphics]

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To Your Success,

Greg Meares

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About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

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