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CRM: A Diagnostic Checklist

This four-step diagnostic puts a focus on the people, processes and platforms that will make your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) a success. It should get you thinking about how CRM sits across your organisation and highlight challenges you might be facing in achieving your objectives but also point to areas of current success.

Ask yourself the following questions to get started.

Who are you?

  • What is the main product or service you provide? For example: events, training, library services etc. What kind of audience engagement will need to be recorded on your systems? Defining your products can show you how your users and customers engage with you.
  • How many visitors/audiences do you attract per year/season? How many are repeat visitors? Your CRM strategies and practices can grow customer loyalty from within your database.
  • How big is the team that manages your customer engagement and experience? This should include box office, communications, learning & development etc. It’s important that everyone understands the role they play in customer retention, no matter their role.
  • Do you have a designated CRM lead within your organisation? You may not have a CRM Manager, but it’s vital that a designated person guides your continued strategy.

Who are they?

  • Who is your audience or customer? What categories or tags can you use to identify them, e.g. attendee, VIP, member, donor etc? Not all of your contacts will have the same interaction with your organisation. By breaking your database down into smaller groups, you can identify the individual needs of your customers to create more relevant communication.
  • Including both contactable and non-contactable, how big is your current database? What campaigns can you create in order to increase the ratio of contactable to non-contactable records? If you cannot contact someone on your database, you hinder the ability to forge any further relationship with them.
  • What are the most common customer journeys through your organisation and its services? What are the common entry points for your customers? By defining the journeys your customer may experience you can tailor any further engagement across your organisation.

What do you have?

  • · What systems do you use to hold your databases? For example: a subscriber platform, a CRM platform, an Excel spreadsheet etc. Do relevant members of your organisation have access to all databases and can they extract information?
  • If someone from your team was to leave tomorrow, it’s important you can still access the contacts and data they hold in these databases.
  • What other platforms do you use to manage and engage with your database? For example: ticketing, marketing, fundraising, website etc. Do they communicate or integrate with each other? If you have multiple databases with little or no integration you may have duplicate records across your organisation. Incomplete or historic data can result in missed opportunities of potential future engagement with your customers, so it’s important to be consistent in how you gather your data.
  • What is your team’s digital capacity? Are you able to incorporate new technology and its processes? After developing your CRM strategy, your processes and platforms may change. Would you anticipate resistance or gaps in skill set from your team that may hinder your work? Check out our top tips for CRM implementation for further guidance.

What do you do?

  • What are the main points of interaction with your customers? For example: buying a ticket, donating, signing up to mailing list, volunteering? Are all these actions being recorded against a single customer record? Having one defined record for each customer you can gain a true picture of how your customer is engaging with your entire organisation.
  • Does your CRM platform/process accurately reflect your interaction with your audiences?
  • Are tasks, correspondence, sales history etc. stored against your contacts? Recording interactions across your database will help you measure your impact across all your customers and accurately assess your progress.
  • Do you have key objectives for your customer interaction and can these be reported accurately? A clearly defined strategy of customer engagement will you ensure you don’t miss opportunities to send your customers relevant communications. Re-engaging your database with targeted content will increase the likelihood of retention.
  • What are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for successful relationships with your audiences? For example: increased subscriber sign ups, increase in retention of first timer visitors, increase in memberships or retention of members? Defining metrics for success will help you create a strategy to focus on the improvement of those results.

What next?

This checklist has outlined the necessary steps to take when evaluating the success of your own CRM strategy. Your work in this area shouldn’t focus solely on the platform you use to store your contacts: it should allow you to take the valuable face-to-face interactions you have with your customers into the digital sphere. To learn more, you can read one of the articles linked below.

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all arts and cultural organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for the latest updates.

Original article created in 2020. Author: Nick Kime. Article reviewed on 24th February 2021.

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