On Saturday, while checking out Twitter I noticed a tweet from @craigklein:
Planning our next ebook – Achieving Success with CRM – can you suggest topics, challenges or solutions to focus on?
There are a lot of important factors one needs to consider when implementing a successful CRM strategy. The one I decided to mention was:
Successful #CRM implementation requires involving front line staff from day 1. Otherwise user adoption much more difficult.
How To Avoid Death Threats And Gain Buy-In
Back in the late 80’s I was working with a local hospital which wanted to change to implement a no-smoking policy. They had delegated the task to an intern, of all people, and she had received several anonymous threats from employees. She asked me for advice. I told her my favorite story about President Lyndon Johnson. When he had hired a political enemy for his staff, one of his aides questioned why. “I’d rather have him inside the tent pissin’ out, than outside the tent pissin’ in,” he replied.
I went on to suggest that she include her two biggest critics from among the workforce on the planning committee. When I saw her months later, she thanked me profusely and said that those two had turned into her biggest allies. The change went much smoother because the people affected the most had voices that were listened to during the planning.
Small Design Mistakes Can Have Huge Repercussions On User Adoption
In my nonprofit, our front line staff has rosters of volunteers for each program and event. Unfortunately, when our CRM software was being designed, no one from the front line was involved. As a result, the roster feature is a perfect example of user-unfriendliness. Staff won’t use it, so they create rosters using Microsoft Excel. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but we have problems getting them to submit that volunteer data to our CRM software. This one little mistake created a huge barrier to user adoption.
When you involve the end-users from day one, you’ll have a better designed product and more advocates among those end users. That will make your change go much more smoothly. In fact, it could provide the margin betweeen success and failure.