Implementation Success: The First Pillar for Strong Customer Relationships

October 24, 2019 Lia Parisyan

Buying and implementing new technology is tricky. You do your homework, talk to others in your industry, and compare the features and benefits of CRM solutions before making your decision. 

But all too often technologies don’t live up to their hype, or they have amazing capabilities that remain unused because employees aren’t properly trained to make a new technology an integral part of their workflow. 

Implementation planning people sitting at a table looking at blueprints

Introducing the Closing the Experience Gap, a strategic framework that focuses on implementation success, user success, operational success, and financial success to bridge the gap between people and technology and long-term value. 

Jump into blog one of a four-part series to start exploring how an experience-driven strategy can help you realize ROI today and well into the future. 

Experience is everything. 

First impressions matter, but what happens after that first customer interaction? In many cases, the ball is dropped during implementation.

But why?

Well, there are a lot of reasons why the gap between people and technology doesn’t shrink and the gap between implementation and value gets wider. Here are a few of the most common ones: 

You don’t understand your customers well enough. 

Do you know your customers’ pain points? Why did they buy the technology you’re implementing, or why did they choose your company? 

Can you help them understand how the technology and the process you put in place will make their organization more productive? Do you have buy-in from stakeholders and users?

You’re not giving employees enough how-to knowledge. 

Making employees feel comfortable and supported is an important part of your job, but are you doing enough to teach them how to use the tools you’ve helped implement?

You’re not asking the right questions.

There is no such thing as too many questions. If you’re going to help your customers succeed, you need to know their businesses inside-out. 

Talk to everyone; don’t just stop at Sales. Get different people to paint you a picture of their day-to-day workflows and visualize how the solutions you’re implementing can fit into their existing workflows — don’t reinvent the wheel, find areas that overlap, and reduce major behavior changes when and where you can. 

You’re not stepping into their mindset.

“True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.” – Anonymous

Not everyone who will use the technology you’re implementing was involved in the purchasing decision. Try to put yourself in their shoes and listen to their concerns. Understand their personal and professional goals and help them do their jobs with the least amount of disruption.  

You don’t have a tag team partner.

In tag team wrestling, you’ve got a partner waiting to step into the ring when things get tough. Do you have someone on the client-side who can come in and encourage users to adopt new workflows to reduce friction? 

You haven't defined what success looks like together. 

Success has different definitions for different people. Customers are no different. Work together to identify what success looks like; pick two or three areas to focus on and review how you’re working together to meet those goals. Make adjustments periodically, but most importantly, be transparent — regularly check in with customers to let each other know how things are going. 

How do you know implementation is working? 

A CRM system should be creating positive experiences that are making tasks easier, unlocking actionable insights, and demonstrating real value that is driving users to adopt the technology and process you’ve implemented. It should also provide a good foundation that can be expanded on in the future. 

The 4 pillars that drive CRM value long-term

Better customer experience is connected to increased brand loyalty, stronger customer engagement, and opportunities for future partnership and growth. 

Implementation success is the first pillar of creating amazing experiences and realizing long-term value. 

When implementation is done right, it drives user adoption, improved customer experiences, and ensures that the CRM you invested in is used and becomes the go-to technology at your organization — not another expensive technology your employees need to work around to get their jobs done. 

Every level of your business contributes to the connections you build with your customers, and eliminating any experience gaps is a team effort. 

Don’t forget to check out the other three pillars of the “Closing the Experience Gap” framework:

User Success
Operational Success
Financial Success

Ready to start an amazing relationship? Reach out to an Appirio implementation expert. 

About the Author

Lia Parisyan

Lia Parisyan is a Data Storyteller at Appirio. She has created high-performing content for leading technology brands.

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The Experience Gap: What It Is, and How to Avoid Falling into It
The Experience Gap: What It Is, and How to Avoid Falling into It

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