I was in touch with a partner today about CRM implementations and the volume and kinds of data that companies new to CRM are forced to handle.
All too often, CRM becomes an exercise in managing customer information, as opposed to actual relationships. Businesses become to bogged down the numbers statistics instead of actually putting their CRM systems to work.
Many CRM systems do fair job collecting and integrating customer data, and with the increasing focus on analytics, some have invested heavily in tools and techniques for analyzing the data to make it more useful and actionable.
User interfaces and CRM solutions is an old-school issue that, despite years of trial and error, still remains one of the top three issues decisively shaping the industry, both in terms of vendors and CRM initiatives. The importance of UIs can not be understated. It was in large part due to bulky UIs from the 1st generation of CRM suites developed in the 1990s that lead to the industry receiving the proverbial egg-to-the-face and poor reputation at the turn of the century.
Fortunately vendors have learned their lesson, which has resulted in a renewed focus on simple UIs, the development of what I like to call the 2nd generation of interfaces. With CRM systems it doesn’t matter what you can do with it, it’s only as good as what you’ll do to it. Apple has long understood this – they distill the essence of each application to its simplest level so it’s useful in real-world situations. This means an elegant interface with nothing extra to get in the way.
When it comes to business end-users, it’s no different. People like things that are simple and just plain work they way you’d expect them to. And that’s exactly the philosophy we’ve taken here at Sugar.