Unpopular opinion - CRM edition: a CRM’s user experience (UX) is its most important feature, hands down.
Most of the time when companies are shopping for a CRM, they’re looking at things like its app integrations, reporting features, and customization options. While all of these things are important, if figuring out how to use them is too hard or they take too much time and energy to use, what’s the point?
That’s where UX makes all the difference; it lets you put all the features your CRM has to offer to good use (without making you want to throw your whole computer away cause they’re overly complicated).
Oh, and it’ll make your team actually want to use your CRM as well.
In this article, we’ll go over what makes a good user experience in a CRM and how to look out for it when shopping for one. (If you already have a CRM, this article will you help you identify whether your current UX is up to par).
What does it mean to have a good CRM user experience?
A good UX starts with the design. A well-designed CRM doesn’t just have all the right fields or features—it also arranges them in a way that makes it easy for the user to learn and use it.
To do this, a CRM designer would need to start by conducting research and gathering data on how people use CRM. What do they want their CRM to do?
Next, they’d create prototypes which they’d have CRM users try and evaluate to help the designers find gaps and areas to improve. Once these improvements are implemented, a basic CRM UX is born.
Google does an excellent job at UX. Their designs are simple, beautiful, and straightforward. Adoption is seamless—no one, not even your great uncle Herbert, needs to be “taught” how to use Google. It’s that easy.
That’s why, to make adoption as seamless as possible, our team used Google’s design principles to build Copper.
Does Copper’s user interface look familiar? It’s should; it's been designed to look and feel like your Google apps.
A CRM with a good UX can give your company immediate financial benefits (and more).
Imagine this: a world where onboarding new users on to a CRM doesn’t involve a steep learning curve. Everyone’s able to pick it up with ease and start using it right away to track every interaction that they have with your customers.
Well, that world’s attainable—it’s all in the UX design.
Don’t believe us? Here are some of the benefits that an improved CRM UX can give you:
1. Time is used more productively.
You can spend less time trying to figure out over-complicated workflows and more time focusing on more profitable activities—like analyzing data, identifying new market segments, and building those customer relationships.
2. You’ll spend less money on training and support.
Your team will be able to figure out the majority of your CRM’s functions on their own because they’ll be straightforward. This means more self-service and less time and money spent on initial training costs and troubleshooting with support teams after purchase.
3. Your adoption rate will go up.
People will actually want to use your CRM because it makes their lives easier, not harder. CRM isn’t truly effective unless everyone’s using it.
Otherwise, you’ll be missing key data that wasn’t entered in by certain reps. A CRM with a simplified UX is a great way to boost adoption.
4. Communication among teams will be more consistent.
An effective CRM allows anyone in your organization to have immediate access to all the relevant information about a given lead. And a well-designed UX means they’ll actually know how to find this information.
Understanding a customer’s previous buying history and unique needs empowers everyone on the team to provide a first-class level of customer service.
5. You’ll stop losing leads.
Without an organized CRM, it’s very easy for leads to be lost in the sales funnel. Companies that either don’t use a CRM or use one with a poor UX are often inconsistent in how they follow up with new leads.
How UX helps: Copper’s simple navigation and straightforward Leads page makes it easy to manage leads.
6. You’ll be able to automate sales tasks.
Using an effective CRM allows you to automate the tasks required to close a new lead. From sending out sales documents to filling out forms to sending out follow-up emails; each stage in the sales process can be performed more efficiently. No steps missed.
How to tell if your CRM user experience is costing you money:
What a lot of businesses fail to realize is just how high the cost of not using an effective CRM is (if they realize it’s costing anything at all). In fact, in one study, it was found that if a CRM wasn’t used, 79% of all leads would fail to convert.
And if you have a CRM but its UX sucks—as in your reps are struggling to make it work the way they want it to—you’re not much better off.
A CRM is a helpful sales tool because it gives you a birds-eye view of your customers, from the big picture to the nitty-gritty details.
If no one’s using your CRM, however, it isn’t going to do much for you.
Low adoption happens for a number of reasons. One instance is when it comes to data entry. If your employees are struggling to use your CRM when interacting with a customer, they’re not likely to enter in detailed or complete information.
The ripple effect of this is that any future interactions with that customer by other members of your organization won’t be based on as much information as they could be.
That’s a hole in your client relationship-building efforts.
Aside from low adoption rate, here are other common indicators that your CRM’s UX could be improved:
1. Navigation is hard to use.
CRMs with poor UX design will be hard to navigate. At best, badly designed navigation menus slow down the user. At worst, they make it impossible to find the features or data that they need to effectively do their jobs.
2. Data is presented poorly.
Well-presented data is critical for an organization's business planning. If users are unable to interpret the data in a meaningful way, then growth opportunities will inevitably be missed.
Copper doesn’t just collect data, it presents it in a way that makes sense.
3. Key features are hard to find.
Some CRMs come packed with powerful features but finding them is extremely difficult. If users can’t locate a functionality, it’s useless (no matter how cool it might have sounded in the demo).
4. There’s no email integration.
The fewer systems you need to check in a day, the better. So, it only makes sense for email—which is likely where the majority of your customer interactions live—to integrate and sync with your CRM. At the very least, users should at least be able to send and receive emails from their CRM.
Copper integrates beautifully with Gmail and all your other Google apps.
5. You can only access it from certain browsers or devices.
Today’s modern workplace isn’t made up of just cubicles in an office. Many people work in different offices in different regions or countries, work remotely, or work on-the-go. Your CRM UX needs to accommodate for this by being accessible from any platform, browser, or device.
Copper is a cloud-based CRM and is accessible on your desktop or on your mobile device for when you’re on the go.
6. It doesn’t integrate with your other apps.
Your CRM should be the centralized information hub for your organization. Being able to integrate your CRM with the rest of your tech tools lets you create that hub.
Integrating apps with your CRM should be easy and should add value to the user’s experience.
These are just a few of the hundreds of apps that Copper integrates with.
7. Not everyone on your team is using it.
The best way to find out why your CRM isn’t being used is to talk to the people struggling with it. Have a meeting with a handful of people on your team or create a survey to send out to the floor to give everyone the chance to provide their constructive feedback on potential problems with your CRM.
Remember: a good CRM is used by everyone at your organization—not just Sales.
The good news? You could always switch CRMs.
Your CRM’s user experience will have a huge impact on the future of your business.
A well-designed CRM will save you money and time today—and will have an even bigger impact on your company’s future.
Learn about how Apptegy's team got onboarded onto a new CRM and how user experience played into it.