More and more companies are implementing information systems to manage their customer relationship (CRM). However, technology alone doesn’t solve anything. Information Systems poorly managed risk becoming nothing more than a data base. In this post I explain how to use the CRM to support our decision making process.
Let’s start from the beginning. What is a decision? A decision is the transformation of information into action. And what is information? Information is the raw material from which we can assess the options before us, or even create new options.
Obviously, we can decide without the need for recourse to information, but taking into account the complex and changing context in which we are currently placed, probably this isn’t the most appropriate.
So let’s assume we use the information to make decisions. What information we are talking about and where to find it?
Generally, companies have access to two main types of information. On one hand, the activity generated by the company and their customers and, on the other hand, the business environment. Regarding the activity of the company, there are several sources of information: the CRM, databases, comments of customers on social networks, the acquired knowledge from team members, etc.
For this information to be relevant, however, the linkage between decision-making and sources of information must be a top-down relationship, that is, depending on the decisions I have to make, I need certain information. If the flow goes in the opposite direction, we will end up with a lot of useless information.
As we’ve just said, one of the sources of information is the CRM. What is the CRM’s role in business decision making? We can see it in the following graph:
First, the activity of our company generates a data set. These data is processed by the CRM to generate information. This information, in turn, is interpreted by us. We observe patterns, trends and correlations from which we obtain knowledge that will allow us to evaluate the options and make decisions.
Where is the information in a CRM? It is usually located in the dashboard. It is important, therefore, that at the time of choosing a CRM for our company we make sure that it has a flexible dashboard that generates advanced graphics.
It is also important, of course, having very clear idea of what information we need to make decisions for this to be taken into account when designing the structure of information and in the subsequent implementation of the CRM.
And, above all, it is crucial that people who make decisions use the CRM to get the information.