Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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Speed And Intuition Make Or Break CRM Software

training videos can kill a crm

Do we really have to do this again?

Yesterday I was demoing several new CRM SaaS offerings that have been picking up steam lately. The quality across the board has been relatively high, but one thing that sets apart the cream is the attention to user experience. There’s a test I do which immediately tells me how successful user experience will be: how long are the initial tutorials?

One CRM’s “Getting Started” tutorial was broken into two chunks on YouTube. Total time? Fifteen minutes.

What does that tell me?

Two things: This CRM is really complicated. Whether or not this is actually the case is neither here nor there. As an end user, the impression I get from this particular “Getting Started” is that it takes a mini-lecture to explain how it works. Yikes.

And that’s not only scary, it’s time consuming and doesn’t exactly sell me on the idea that this is going to make my life easier.

Secondly, this CRM team doesn’t know how to effectively reach out to me as an end-user and help me adopt the system. It’s either their way or the highway. To actually start using the system, I’m going to need to pull up the video next to my actual demo of the CRM. Instead of me working inside the system and learning it, I’m being mouth-fed an example.

SaaS offerings like MailChimp (though not a CRM to be sure) do a fantastic job of mixing on-the-fly help with video libraries of intensive tutorials. The reason they give away so much knowledge is simple: they want you using, and loving the system right away.

As a business, the cliché time is money is maybe less true than a frustrating waste of time is an infuriating waste of money and energy.
Choosing and evaluating the right SaaS solution is a lot of work. When I evaluate software, I want to know that someone on the developer’s end has my frustrations in mind. This is especially a problem in the world of contact management and customer relations.

If what you’re selling me isn’t at least as good as a trusty old rolodex, what is the point of signing up?

End user systems should be clean, simple and intuitive from the get-go. I shouldn’t need a 15 minute introduction. Save the in-depth functionality tutorials for when and if I decide to stick around that long.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.