An expensive CRM system, but nobody uses it? – How to increase user acceptance

Regardless of the cost, a CRM system represents a decisive factor for the success of a company, being the central database. Even if the system has been fully implemented in the company's processes, it often fails due to lack of use. Therefore, we decided to get to the bottom of this problem and give you useful tips on how to increase user acceptance of the CRM system in your company.

Use of a CRM system

The abbreviation CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. The CRM system is a software platform for contact and sales management. It stores all relevant customer information such as turnover, products, contact persons, and all correspondence and activities such as business visits. As a result, the large amount of information collected in the system results in a large number of users. Apart from the sales, marketing, and support departments, all employees who have contact with customers must use the CRM system.

Discovering the lack of user acceptance

Many companies report that, in general, users prefer not to use the CRM system. This is also confirmed by a study by Oracle & Beagle Research Group. If CRM is not used throughout the company, there is often no motivation to start using it. It can therefore be assumed that not all relevant customer information is kept up to date, which increases the difficulty of getting started with the system. However, if this barrier is not broken, the lack of use increases. For many colleagues, maintaining contact data is not an advantage, but only a tedious waste of time. Some even feel that their work is being controlled if they have to document all activities. Also, another aspect that can slow down the use of the system is related to problems with the application. Particularly technology-savvy sales reps may have difficulty familiarizing themselves with the new systems. Therefore, this limitation must be avoided, for example, by providing them with training. In any case, the problems of lack of use are offset by the added value of a well-maintained database in the CRM system. So the question is: How can you convince your employees to use the system?

Encouraging the use of CRM

We already know the importance of making good use of the CRM system. However, it is necessary to take permanent measures to ensure user acceptance. To this end, we have compiled new insights, ideas, and tips for you.

1. Technology acceptance model

The Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw model has been around since the 1980s and continues to be useful in theory and practice. It shows which factors are decisive for the acceptance and use of technology. In the case of the CRM system, our goal is to use the system effectively. For this, the respective persons must be positive and open to the use. Two main factors explain this attitude of use: perceived usability and perceived user-friendliness. Usability refers to whether potential users find the CRM system useful for their daily work and needs. In this sense, user-friendliness refers to the ease with which users can operate the CRM system. In this case, a lack of technical knowledge or complex operation could be an obstacle to its use. It should be noted that both of these perception factors are also influenced by external factors.

Technology acceptance model

2. Practical tips

It is possible to exert a direct influence on the external factors already mentioned and thus positively influence both usefulness and user-friendliness.

In the best case, when implementing the CRM system in your company, it is necessary to have considered the training and education to explain to the users what the system and the software functions consist of. In case you have not taken this into account, it is advisable to periodically inform about updates and new developments to keep all staff up to date. It is also important to have permanent contact and support persons for open questions to avoid user frustration in case problems arise. To minimize challenges, it is convenient to have an exchange with key users and take their needs into account. Another method for improvement is to conduct periodic feedback in the form of user surveys. This helps users know exactly what content should be assigned in the CRM system and how to create clear structures and processes. Regardless of whether you have already established a CRM system or are about to establish one, it is important not to expect too much from the outset. Establishing and fully increasing user acceptance is a process, so it can be helpful to define goals. This makes progress easier to see and everyone is working towards a clear goal. In addition, the technical operation of the CRM system must be ensured so that all users can work with it reliably. On the other hand, it is also a great advantage if the management uses the CRM system personally and is a role model.

Checklist to increase CRM user acceptance

  • Support and fixed contact persons for questions
  • Training and Education
  • Involve (key) users
  • Create clear processes and structures
  • Define objectives
  • Functional technology
  • Managers as role models
  • Feedback

3. Motivate differently: gamification of the CRM system

If none of our previous tips help or you feel it is better to try something new, we recommend gamification of the CRM system to improve its usability. The term gamification refers to the use of playful elements such as games that are applied in contexts such as in the CRM system. For example, typical gamification elements such as obtaining a certain number of points or a level for a certain goal achieved can be used. The aim is for users to have fun and for the company to gain added value. Some companies have already resorted to the gamification of their systems. The Austrian bank BAWAG P.S.K., for example, has taken the CRM system into a real environment, in keeping with the bank's tradition, and gamified it. Users of the CRM system were able to work their way up from "citizen" to "emperor" through agreements, challenges, and higher quality. It is important to ensure that the number of elements in play is kept within limits so that it does not become another obstacle in the use of the system. In addition, the game should be limited to a short time to remain competitive. Those who want to start easier can use the dashboard integrated into CRM systems. There, concrete figures such as the number of campaigns and sales figures are presented to the sales department. This not only demonstrates the usability of the tool, but the playful comparison also fosters a sporting competitiveness that everyone would like to win.

Your team is not yet convinced to use a CRM system? Then snapADDY software may be the solution for you and your company! At snapADDY, we make the CRM system more useful digitally capturing leads with snapADDY VisitReport and automatically maintaining data with snapADDY DataQuality. This way you can improve user acceptance in turn. You can test our software for 14 days free of charge or make an appointment.

Now we hope you will enjoy the automatic maintenance of your CRM system!

Carina Hoßfeld

Marketing Assistant at snapADDY GmbH

Carina Hoßfeld works in marketing at snapADDY GmbH since 2020 and is completing her master's degree in the same field. She has successfully completed a business training course and a bachelor's degree in business administration. In addition, she has acquired practical experience in project organization and marketing in other positions and internships.