A new year is upon us. Like most, you’ve probably made some personal resolutions about things you’ll change or do differently in 2013. However, I suspect when you sat down on January 1, your list was focused on matters of personal well-being and your CRM solution wasn’t at the top of the list. As Tiffany Crumpton points out in her recent post, making resolutions for your CRM is equally important.

Constituent. Relationship. Management. As you move into 2013, make sure that the three key tenants of CRM are present in your day-to-day business.

Constituent

Organizations, particularly those that tend to operate in silos, often lose sight of the importance of the complete constituent view. While leadership embraces the concept of the 360-degree view, departmental end users often lose sight of the importance of the complete constituent view and are focused primarily upon their day-to-day tasks. Ensure that your staff understands the impact of CRM organization-wide, beyond their own interactions.  A constituent isn’t simply a volunteer, event attendee, or donor – they are all three and more. The constituent views themselves in the totality of their relationship – why doesn’t your organization?

Relationship

Tracking relationships with constituents is the primary reason for a CRM solution. As pointed out previously, a constituent views their relationship with your organization based on all touch points they have with the organization as a whole. They don’t (hopefully) see departments and silos. Tracking all interactions of any type is essential to maintaining this relationship effectively. For example, if Joe in department A receives a phone call from the constituent requesting additional information last week, when Sally in department B talks to the constituent this week, they should ask if the information was received. The only way to do that is if the phone call was tracked in CRM. A small step, but one that can dramatically enhance the relationship between the constituent and your organization.

Management

It is important to remember that as powerful as CRM is, CRM is a tool to facilitate the management of a relationship. It doesn’t manage the relationship itself. Personal touch points and interactions between the constituent and key staff at your organization are the most important way to manage a relationship. That said, if the tools to aid in managing that relationship aren’t properly maintained, the tool is meaningless. Miriam Kagan started the year with a great post about 3 CRM Predictions for 2013. Each of these predictions offers interesting insight in to the data in your CRM and how it will aid in effectively managing your constituent relationships.

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