Result of our survey on what features businesses want from CRM platform
Business Features Requested in CRM / Case Management Platform
In 2017, Solastis conducted a survey to ascertain the features business want from CRM. The respondents were the industry people who had the background knowledge of CRM. Either they were using a CRM application, or considering to use one in the future. The survey did not concentrate on the technical aspects of the Case Management application, rather the questions were mainly directed to know what functional features were missing, or should be essentially present in a Case Management Platform to achieve business functions in a more effective manner.
Based on the responses of the industry people, here is a list of functionalities or benefits that a Case Management Platform must offer.
Single Platform CRM
Businesses do not like the idea of using multiple platforms for doing their work. Many CRMs provide separate sales desk and service desk. So there are two CRM applications running parallel in the same organization. Similarly, if the CRM provides partial email integration or external email client, the users have to work on two separate platforms – CRM platform and the email Platform for sending and receiving emails. A third reason for the companies to use multiple platform is weak authorization feature in CRMs. Due to weak authorization features the businesses cannot restrict the users from viewing cases or processes going in other departments. To prevent unnecessary data transparency, the organizations subscribe to multiple CRM instances, and assign them to separate group of users.
Overall, the business users want a Case Management Application, which serves as a single and unified platform for the users and work existing within an organization. Switching to different platforms leads to chaos and loss of time.
Solastis CRM Plus solves all the above three issues – It has unified sales and service cloud, full email integration, and strong authorization features. being able to work on a single platform is a crucial features businesses want from CRM.
CRM Providing Multiple Dimensions to Analyze /Review / Report on Cases
Businesses reported that many CRMs do not allow to do case analysis using multiple dimensions. Most of the CRMs allow very basic case analysis. The features are limited to case creation and managing customer interaction. The users can send and receive emails from the CRM, and work on Cases, but that is where the functionality ends. Few CRMs offer one dimension, that is the territory for classifying the Cases. However, these elements are not sufficient for complex business environment. In order to achieve complex case analysis, CRM should offer multiple dimensions. So being able to do case analysis using multiple dimension is also one of the features businesses want from CRM.
Solastis CRM Plus Case Management Platform, has gone a level up by providing multiple dimensions for classifying the Cases. It provides 3 dimensions that businesses can use to analyze the Cases – Organisational unit, Territory, and Case Type. Here are a few examples of complex Case analysis that Solastis CRM Plus can handle efficiently:
Businesses can perform case analysis on the basis of various functions like sales, service, delivery, and accounting.
Businesses can perform case analysis on the basis of different business lines. For example an insurance company that sells automobile insurance, life insurance, home insurance, and health insurance, can analyze Cases on the basis of different business lines.
Businesses can perform case analysis on the basis of key customers. Many businesses have key customers with whom they have very large volume of cases like Apple, GE, or BMW. These are huge organizations and high net worth customers. Business can create an organizational unit to represent key customers.
Businesses can perform case analysis using multiple dimensions from any of those mentioned above – businesses might want to go a level further and take into consideration more than one dimension for performing the case analysis. For example, a business can analyze Cases for different business lines and across territories.
Businesses can perform a case analysis on the basis of key assets – for example, a real estate company that owns multiple shopping malls can do case analysis by defining each asset as an Organizational Unit.
Since Solastis CRM Plus Case Management Platform provides 3 objects for classifying the Cases, cross functional case analysis is easily possible. These 3 objects when taken together, create a matrix, that helps the business in complex analysis and reporting. Case analysis by multiple dimensions is one of the key features businesses want from CRM.
CRM with Integrated Tasks
In the context of CRM, a Case is a piece of work that needs to be completed by a user. It can either be a sales case, service case, or any internal business process. The Case is often made up of small pieces of work, which needs to be performed in sequence. However, most of the CRMs treat the Case as a single component. When this Case is assigned to a user, he becomes solely responsible for all the tasks associated with the Case. If some other user needs to participate in the Case, then the assigned user needs to be changed. This results in loss of data and the record of time spend by previous user. Thus, the possibility of assigning parts of the Case to different users becomes limited.
Although there are some CRMs that offer the functionality of Task Management, the tasks are not integrated into the Case. The tasks are more like a to-do list, completely independent from the Case. These are just attached to a case. Integration of tasks to cases is one of the key features businesses want from CRM.
Solastis CRM Plus Case Management Platform allows the Cases to be broken into logical components. Each component or Task is automatically assigned to the users of various functional area. Since tasks and users are already defined, it is easier to monitor the Case. The users become more accountable and the Case can be successfully completed within the defined time frame.
CRM For Better Segregation and Control of Cases
Strong authorization rules is one of the key features businesses want from CRM. Most of the CRMs in the market today have limited authorization rules. They mainly focus on creating Cases and managing customer interactions. Beyond that there are no functionalities to control the users from viewing certain data and processes. For example, the company may not want to show accounting related data to the users of other departments. Or, the company might want to restrict one sales representative from viewing the cases dealt by other sales representatives. In absence of strong authorization rules, there is no way the company can practice segregation and control of Cases. Thus businesses are looking for a CRM which offers significant flexibility in controlling the data that the users should be authorized to view and work on.
Solastis CRM Plus is unique as it lets the company segregate and control cases in a better way. The Authorization Roles is a dynamic feature that helps in restricting which Organizational Units, Territories and Case Types, can the users view. With effective authorization rules, the user can view only the combination allowed to him. In this way Solastis CRM plus enables better control and segregation of Cases.
CRM with Full Email Integration
Full Email Integration is one of the key features businesses want from CRM. Many CRMs provide partial email integration or external email client. This requires double work on the part of the users. In order to forward the business emails to the CRM, the users either have to use the BCC field, or plugin in the external email client. These approaches give rise to various issues:
The users have to work on two different platforms, the email client and the CRM.
If the user forgets to manually tag the emails to the CRM by using BCC field or plugin, there will be no record of the email in the system
In case the user is not present in office, no one can respond to the customer on his behalf as his emails are inaccessible.
To overcome all these issues, Solastis CRM Plus has used Full Email Integration. The application comes with in-built email client. The users can directly send the emails from the CRM without the need of using an external email client. All the incoming emails get automatically tagged to the relevant Case in the CRM. If the emails fail to get automatically tagged to the right Case, it can be done manually. Thus all the emails get tagged to the relevant Case and displayed in a sequential manner. Even if the user is not present at work, the manager can view the record of emails under the Case. The users can work on a single platform for all the tasks related to a Case.
CRM Should Automatically Assign Tasks to Users
As we discussed earlier that companies expect the CRMs to have task management features that are integrated with the Case. Apart from integrated task management, companies also want the CRM to automatically assign these tasks to the users. Manually changing the assignments and letting this being controlled by user who previously worked on the case is something companies want to avoid.
Solastis CRM plus has the functionality to integrate the tasks with the Case, and also auto-assign the tasks to the right users. The system first identifies the right user as per the configuration, and then assigns the task to him. If notification feature is configured, then the system also notifies the user by email, that a specific task has been assigned to him. The auto assigning and notification are very useful features for geographically diverse teams, or back office operations. When separate users belonging to different geographies and departments have to work on the same Case, and the volume of Cases is high, automatic assignment of Task helps in saving time and effort lost in manually assigning the Case.
CRM Should Facilitate Performance Measurement
Business users feel that CRMs should have functionalities to enable performance measurement. Most of the managers struggle to find answer for questions like – how are my employees faring? Which employees are doing well? Which employees are stagnant? Is there a process where employees need more training? Managers feel that since all the users and Cases are present at one platform, the platform can add value by helping in performance analysis. However, most of the CRMs available are merely case processing tools and cannot add help in performance measurement.
Solastis CRM Plus system allows dynamic performance measurement which is one of the key features businesses want from CRM. The application allows creation of tasks, which means the Case is broken into multiple pieces. Each piece of work or task is assigned to users and an SLA is attached to the task. This implies that the user has to complete the assigned task within the specified time frame. The concept of breaking the Case in tasks and attaching SLAs, facilitates greater performance management. The manager can review whether the user has successfully completed the task or not. Since these tasks have associated SLAs, it also helps in calculating the time allowed vs the actual time taken. This also helps to generate reports over a period of time, evaluating the performance comparison across hundreds of cases.
CRM Should be Scalable by Business Function
Scalability is one of the key features businesses want from CRM. Most of the CRMs claim to be completely scalable. By that what they often mean is, the application can serve 1 user, 100 users, 1000 users, or maybe more. But the real question is whether the system can handle the growing complexities that arise by for a growing business. Supporting growing number of users is easy for any CRM as the servers are available on AWS (Amazon Web Services) and the server capacity can be increased with simple configuration. The actual limitation arises when the number of user increases, but the CRMs do not have the competency to handle growing complexities, which is a result of growth in business.
As the number of users grow, the business complexities also increase. With high number of users, CRM needs features for advanced case segregation, elaborate authorization rules, complex features for performance management, and so on. CRMs generally provide same set of features for a company with 10 users as well as the one with 1000 users. But that’s what the problem is. Businesses need a level of sophistication as the size increases.
Solastis CRM Plus Case Management Platform, provides advanced and sophisticated features, that can adapt to the growing complexities. The CRM provides features to break the Case into multiple tasks, assign SLAs to tasks, and multiple dimensions like Org Unit, Territory, advanced authorisation controls and Case Types for classifying Cases. All these features combined together, offer a dynamic suit geared to handle more number of users, as well as growing business complexity.
After analyzing the survey report, Solastis CRM employed the features businesses want from CRM. The ultimate product is Solastis CRM Plus which overcomes the shortcomings present in many other CRM/Case Management Platform.