“Companies implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system need a detailed review or audit of how they interact with customers to drive top line and bottom line success,” argues Andrew Heriot, head of services at Maximizer Software.
“It is vital that companies really listen to customers’ needs, concerns and challenges – and then align products or services to give customers what they want. Implementation of CRM software on its own is not a magic bullet that will revitalise sales and boost profitability.
“This means engaging effectively with customers and putting the ‘relationship’ back into CRM, and for many, will require a culture shift in the way they do business.”
There are numerous means of seeking and encouraging customer feedback: blogging, online live chat, posting comments or even a simple suggestion box. But it is what companies do with the feedback, how it is logged, and how responses are co-ordinated that is all important. Whether in good times or bad, it is those companies which focus effectively on their customers that flourish in competitive markets.
“At Maximizer we established an online suggestions portal for our client community, for example. Clients are able to make suggestions about the product, review and comment on other peoples’ ideas and vote on the most popular. Using this method we can see where we need to put effort into our product, as well as discuss the best approaches to developing the Maximizer CRM product roadmap,” Heriot adds.
Drawing on community feedback, Maximizer product managers decided to optimise the system’s mobile capabilities for smartphones such as BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, as well as tablets.
In addition, there have been many enhancements to the Windows and Web-based presentations that promote productivity of real users doing real work. Maximizer has found that the iPad in particular is gaining ground as the mobile device of choice amongst their users.
“We have recently released Maximizer CRM 12 Summer 2012 software across EMEA with great new features and enhancements, many of which are the result of listening to the ideas of our customers. And we’ll continue to take heed, giving customers the opportunity to shape the product direction and prioritise new developments,” concludes Heriot.