Our customers come from all walks of life and from all levels of experience with CRM software. While some have tried every CRM in the veritable “yellow pages,” others have been scared off by all the horror stories that they haven’t even touched the stuff.
But one experience is always consistent from client to client: good CRM software is hard to come by.
It’s not that it’s naturally hard to find; a simple search on Google can bring up a myriad of options. In reality, it’s because good CRM software is just plain hard to make.
What Makes Good CRM Software so Hard to Make?
Good software in general is hard to make.
There are several apps and services that stand out among the rest, generally because they’ve “cracked it.” They’ve built the right formula, or at least the closest thing to it.
Apps like Evernote, Wunderlist, Simple, and Skype are generally known as the champions of their niche. Skype has even reached “Kleenex” status by having its name brand synonymous for the act of video chats over the internet.
At the same time, that’s what makes these apps special. The developers have put in long hours and thought long and hard about how to make the best apps they can.
While I’m certainly not saying that all CRM developers are lazy or bad programmers, I would argue that many perhaps lack the understanding to fix the right issues and the creativity to come up with the right solutions.
It’s hard; finding those solutions isn’t like reaching into a top hat and pulling them out. But, that’s what makes the good software stand out from the rest.
CRM features are inherently complex.
The difference between CRM software and internet video call services like Skype is that the features involved in customer relationship management are naturally more complex.
Again, I’m not saying that making an app like Skype isn’t complex; every software has it’s specific challenges. However, CRM is uniquely challenging by the way each feature needs to interact with others and how each feature needs to help the end user complete goals using their own workflows.
The issue isn’t finding out how to have a 1:1 interaction with someone across the world, it’s finding out how to develop 1-on-1 relationships with everyone in the world at the same time.
Finding out how to set up a CRM, where to put the buttons, how many buttons to have, what all the buttons do, where the settings are, how many settings are included, and how all that helps the end user have more quality relationships that lead to increased sales and loyalty is a tough business.
All the while, you have to create a balance between what can be done and what should be done without increasing the complexity of the software and rendering it useless.
It takes a lot of planning and a lot of saying “no” before you get the right solutions.
Every business is different.
Another issue that makes CRM a special case is the simple fact that all businesses are different. While almost everyone takes notes the same way, managing customers requires both a healthy portion of strategy with a heaping dose of audience.
Every business has a different way of handling relationships with customers, as well as a unique pipeline for moving those customers through the sales cycle. What’s more, each customer will have a different experience with the business, therefore requiring even more customization.
This is where things like custom fields, custom live reports, and other customizable options become a necessity in CRM. They afford each business a level of personality that makes the software unique to their needs.
Again, the counter-issue becomes the balance. You can’t have everything be ultra customizable for everyone because the majority of users will get lost in the complexity. You have to have the right level of customization that serves the largest majority.
Finding Wheat Among the Tares
The first step in being able to create good CRM software is having an understanding of the above points. You can’t tackle the issue unless you truly understand why the existing players aren’t good enough.
Further, you need a vision. You need a goal that goes far beyond a simple “we need this specific feature that you can’t get in other CRM.” One exclusive feature can be enough to sell, but it won’t be enough to keep customers on board if the software isn’t built for usability and
Our vision at JobNimbus is to completely deconstruct the traditional CRM, replacing the notoriously hard-to-use interface with a much simpler layout that will allow for greater user adoption and daily usage.
We are on our way to fulfilling that vision and the results are already amazing. Good CRM software will get easier to find soon.