Covid-19 emerged rapidly and has changed the course of almost everything. Many businesses collapsed, others went through multiple challenges. One of the main challenges to run business in self-isolation period was the organization and transfer of business processes online. In this article we will talk about CRM systems that became a rescue wheel for many business companies that deal with customers and build a customer service and prioritizes customer satisfaction.

Remote work reality

So, during the crisis, the demand for CRM systems increased. The shift of employees to remote work caused a wave of compromises. On the one hand, CEOs of small and medium-sized businesses made the decision to give employees the credit of trust and did not expand the measures of control over work activity and some large companies did. On the other hand, it must be admitted that the human factor, combined with general stress, took its toll and various side effects began in relations between workers and employers: procrastination, redistribution of time and energy in favor of homework and family, and the formation of skills to avoid work and some of the remote employees began to load themselves with tasks and “out of boredom and loneliness” work not 8 hours, but 12, 14 and even 16.

One way or another, remote work is now with us for a long time - and not because the Covid-19 will not leave us, but because some of the employees, companies, managers have found their advantages in this way of work, we are all waiting for new patterns of office and home-office interaction. And already now there are questions that need to be addressed here and now.

  • How to monitor employees? On the one hand, you can put software to control working hours, but this will entail a drop in loyalty, resistance and even dismissal. On the other hand, it is also impossible to leave everything to chance - the human factor will press down the performance indicators. We need some kind of tool that separates clean work (which can and should be coordinated and controlled) and working relationships (you cannot count smoke breaks, coffee, communication, etc.).
  • How to unite all the work without getting side-effects in the form of uneven workload on office and home-office employees, loss and duplication of information and managerial collisions?
  • How to take care of the front office work (salespeople, project managers, client managers, etc.) so that they can work efficiently from any location without affecting the quality of their external interactions?
  • How to keep the team and not go broke on hiring and training replacement for those who decide to leave for one reason or another?

What is the safest place for your operational work?

To say that all problems will be solved by the software in general and the CRM system in particular is not serious. You need to act comprehensively. And first of all, you need to fight the human factor with the help of the methodology and psychology of management.

  • The main thing is that no matter how many remote employees you have, follow a simple rule: remote worker equals regular employee. He does not need to be overloaded just because he does not spend 2 hours on the road and he should not be ignored. All remote workers should be part of the team: ensure their presence at meetings, inform about all events in the company, do not forget to integrate into the corporate culture. The remote worker can be your former or future office employee, and if you do not build relationships with him as with the entire office, you will not be able to return him to the team in a controlled manner.
  • Do not show your subordinates and colleagues your doubts about the company's success in the post-image era. In fact, nothing has changed: the laws of demand and the invisible hand of the market will soon bring everything back to normal and you will actually find yourself in the same conditions that were before the start of the pandemic. Some industries may even be in a better position due to changing consumer attitudes.
  • Change the company from the inside: introduce automation, refactor business processes, revise the strategy and tactics of operational work and core activities. Such tasks of "improvement" of the company will not only benefit the company, but will also rally a shattered team: working on a new large-scale task, employees will quickly return to work and realize their importance and need.

An interesting tool for organizing a team can be a CRM system. If you have ever tried to choose this software, you probably noticed that only one name remained of CRM: now these are universal sophisticated combines that allow you to manage clients and centrally solve other operational tasks: from managing business processes and warehouse to technical support and staff training.

What is CRM?

CRM-system (Customer Relationship Management) is a corporate information system, an irreplaceable modern tool for doing business. It makes it possible not only to automate interaction with customers and the entire workflow process, but also the sales pipeline, but to organize their work in such a way as to get the maximum result.

What crisis tasks can a CRM system close?

CRM is the information center of a small business, its electronic brain. The system accumulates data about customers, transactions, significant events, correspondence, calls and call records, logs of employees' processes and actions, documents, etc. All entities within the CRM system are connected, you can always get an interesting data slice or a piece of accumulated information. Some of the actions in the CRM system are fully automated, which greatly simplifies the life of employees and speeds up the workflow. Now, when many companies need to update and recruit a client base, this is especially important.

CRM provides soft and correct control over the work of employees. In the CRM system, the actions of employees are logged, business processes are logged, and records of negotiations with clients are stored. By logs, transaction amounts, progress along the sales analytics or the manager's daily workload, one can judge the intensity of work and activity of each employee. Additionally, you can set target KPIs even for a day, even for a month - and thus, the manager and the employee himself will be able to see how evenly tasks are distributed, where there are gaps, and where there is overload. It helps to regulate the flow of the workflow without screenshots of screens, employee photos, keyloggers and catching pixel pictures and notifications on the monitor.

CRM protects data from human factors and employee retaliation. Employees leave, in a crisis they leave more intensively, sometimes they take with them developments, clients, the entire database, and if there is nowhere to carry the data, they can do harm and, for example, erase contacts in customer cards, delete transactions, etc. In general, at least somehow do harm - from resentment, from anger, from harm. Yes, CRM is practically unable to prevent the problem (not counting the fact that before the "Skoda" the employee begins to work more actively with the system - to prepare), but it can easily point out the culprit and guarantees the recovery of compromised data from existing backups. Thus, no one in the company will be accused in vain, and all data will be restored. A potential business-wide tragedy will be just a little sneaky problem.

CRM helps to cope with employee leaving and educate newcomers. All the work of an employee is accumulated and saved in the CRM system and helps tracking it through integrated tracking system, his role can be easily transferred to any colleague in two clicks by changing access rights. This allows you not to panic if an employee leaves, but to redistribute his work to others. At the same time, CRM is a knowledge base that helps a beginner to quickly get used to business processes and operational work - it is enough to provide him with limited access to the system. And in general, CRM is an important element of personnel management: any automated business looks attractive and compares favorably with the simplified work with routine and order in operational activities (although some companies still sometimes manage to create an automated mess at their place).

CRM brings employees together. They work in a single system, they comprehend it from scratch, learn and find themselves in relatively equal conditions in the face of the interface of the new program. The process of selection, implementation and customization of CRM significantly increases communication within the team, produces a business spirit and in general coordinates the workflow process.

CRM is a new trend in 2020-2021

After you have already started working in CRM, you can gradually start expanding the software and modifications, templates, etc. Thus, you will make the implementation of a better relationship with the vendor longer-term.

CRM becomes more and more demanded nowadays and more companies are implementing CRM for better managing the business, especially today when everything is online and employees are on remote work mode. When you implement CRM you are able to automate all the business processes and save funds and resources as well as develop and expand. Nowadays there are multiple CRM systems for any need. Among them are Zoho for limited budget companies, Freshworks, which is a CRM in a combination of applications, HubSpot, which is a marketing application with CRM capabilities, Pipedrive, which is great for ecommerce and revenue growth, etc. There are many CRM and it can be a rescue wheel for your business in Covid-19.

Not a single crisis has turned out to be eternal: we have gone through 2008, 2014, 2018, we will go through 2020, especially since there are certain prerequisites for the fact that this time the way out of the peak will be somewhat more dynamic than the usual crawling out of stagnation. It may turn out that at the beginning of next year, small businesses will feel a sharp, post-shock demand for everything that is possible both in B2B and B2C. Having a CRM in such a situation is a great way to earn more and not lose the team, but even strengthen.