My Mom on CRM…

If I hadn’t come along a shining example of just how important the user interface of a CRM system is when it comes to end-user adoption, then last night was it.

I went over to my parent’s house to have dinner with my mother, who as a 30-year veteran of working as a secretary, insurance person, and office manager in doctors’ offices, knows what it’s like to deal with disgruntled customers. The pediatrician’s office she works in now can be a downright nightmare: one doctor + 3,000 patients on file = approximately 30 appointments per day.

Over the last month they’ve been replacing the 10-year old computer/software system they use to check patients with; things such as appointments, billing, insurance information…or in other words, their CRM system.

Now before I continue, a word on my mother, whom I love very much. But as an early baby boomer, the PC/Internet revolution is not something she’s picked up on. Outside of printing household tips off of MarthaStewart.com and playing the occasional video game such as Solitaire, she has no real need for the PC, and why should she? Her generation never needed it, so neither does she. But when it comes to doctor office, CRM solutions, she can navigate an application with the best of em,

Which gets me back to my point. The new system they’ve installed hasn’t gone over well with the staff. And while they’ve taken the due diligence of making training an early and often priority (going on 4 weeks now), my mother’s comments speak volumes about the importance of having a simple and efficient user interface:

I can’t understand why they couldn’t leave it simple. We don’t need all the extra bells and whistles, just to be able to do the basics: check patients in and out, book appointments, submit bills to the insurance company, things like that.

Rather than taking 3 clicks to book an appointment, the new system now takes 5 or 6. Whereas the old solution allowed the staff to see both the current appointment and future appointments within the same screen, the new solution requires the user to access two screens. In short, they’ve gotten a CRM system that doesn’t give the user the basics or the flexibility to make the application work for them…a problem this industry has been dealing with for 20+ years.

Simple and efficient is a concept we’ve tried to embrace here at SugarCRM with our software, and one I feel we’ve done a pretty good job of doing. After all, no matter how advanced the software, customer service will only ever be as good as the employee providing it…a CRM solution should simply be the catalyst by which that employee’s job becomes a little easier.

Another disgruntled patient….or end user.

baby-crying by Miss Nupur.