There are so many factors to consider when making the choice to migrate to a new CRM: the cost, the allowable number of users, whether it has functionality you need, the ease of the interface, whether remote or cloud access is available…and that’s just to name a few.
All those considerations are very important, as a well-maintained and well-used CRM can be the tool that takes your fundraising strategy and practice to the next level.
That said, we’d like to make the case for prioritizing another factor that isn’t on the list above: the quality of the customer service experience.
Here are three VERY IMPORTANT reasons to prioritize the quality of the customer service you are receiving from the CRM provider when you are choosing the tool that’s right for you:
A CRM is not a piece of software that you are buying with a one-time purchase, it is a commitment that you are making to an ongoing relationship with a service provider, one that will have a recurring monthly or annual fee attached to it. Before you get into this ongoing financial relationship, make sure that it’s a good fit on both sides. The last thing you want is to be throwing money at a company that won’t pick up the phone when you need some help.
The process of migrating from one CRM into another one is not quick and not easy, having a CRM that offers a high level of customer service will go a long way toward ensuring that all of your existing data gets transferred accurately, and that what might otherwise be a painful experience becomes a pleasant one. But also, let’s not underestimate the importance of keeping your data accurate.
Functionality not quite what you want it to be? That’s where a good customer service representative comes in. A CRM provider is a tech company, and if there is one thing to be said for tech companies, it is that they are constantly updating their products. Having an open line of communication with your CRM provider will open the door for you to make suggestions and requests for functionality updates.
The truth is that probably no CRM is going to be absolutely perfect, meeting all of your needs 100% of the time, but having someone helpful on the other end of the line (or chat window, or email inbox) will make all the difference as you take on the important work of strategic, data-supported fundraising with the help of a brand new database.