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Customers for Life - how effective CRM enables you to create them (and keep them)

Customers for Life – wouldn't they be nice? Find them ,and they just keep on coming back and your business quietly continues and grows – no marketing required. This may sound like a dream, but it does not have to be.

Perhaps surprisingly, we all have the opportunity to create Customers for Life and for making those customers into advocates for you, so as well as not requiring marketing, you can almost do away with sales as these customers become your sales force – unpaid.< /p>

It costs about six or seven times (on average) as much to find a new customer than to keep an existing customer happy. When surveyed most people who have changed supplier state that the reason that they made the change is because they had been forgotten by the previous supplier, or they did not know who their previous supplier for the product or service in question was.

Read more: Customers for Life - how CRM enables you to create them

The choice is not whether you implement CRM, but whether you implement CRM well 

We don’t have a choice about implementing CRM, the choice is how well we implement CRM

Making sense of the dizzying array of opinions over CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and strategies is no easy task for today’s business leaders. Additionally, the asymmetry of perceived success ensures that everyone has heard about failed projects that took years, cost $millions and still did not deliver what had been promised.

So decision makers and business leaders wanting to understand the options and to lead a successful project are faced with a massive challenge.

If you choose to ignore it, you are really consigning your organisation, and people, to delivering a labour intensive, and still probably poor, service to your clients, customers, members, parishioners, students etc.. After all good CRM will manage the process of looking after your customers or clients , bad CRM just gets in the way.

Read more: We don’t have a choice about implementing CRM, the choice is now how well we implement CRM

Why do you need a CRM Administrator?

Once you have initially deployed CRM, your CRM journey has only just begun. Your CRM solution will grow and evolve as your business grows and evolves – as all successful businesses do.

A good CRM administrator may be the difference between CRM success and CRM failure. Helping this to happen is a key part of the role of your CRM Administrator.

Your CRM Administrator is more than a typical technical administrator of the software. Your CRM Administrator is your champion for the entire CRM solution as shown in the opening image. They do not need to be an internal person, but they do need to be dedicated to your business and to your CRM success. They must not be with only you today, while searching for their next opportunity.

Organisations who do not have that champion, that person who is looking for how your CRM can further help your business grow, tend to suffer in three main ways:

Read more: Why do you need a CRM Administrator?

Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

marketing wordle

Customer Relationship Management technologies are designed to give you a full view of how your clients interact with you, usually across your entire organization, from first contact. This should include the marketing activity that often is responsible for first finding the prospect and also for much of the ongoing nurturing both before the initial sale and during the entire lifecycle of the customer.

Marketing functionality in core Microsoft CRM 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes some great marketing functionality in the core product, including:

  • Marketing lists – static and dynamic
  • Quick Campaigns – great for a single communication to a marketing list
  • Campaigns
  • Mail Merge correspondence

For a guided walkthrough of how to use campaigns and marketing lists in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please go to our GuideMeGuru – module four covers marketing.

However many organizations find this functionality inadequate for their needs. This article is a brief review of some of the options which work well with Microsoft Dynamics CRM which you may choose to extend the native functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The solution that best suits you will depend on your requirements.

Read more: Marketing with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 

Why aren’t hearing impaired people invited to the Chinese Whispers team?


Chinese Whispers is a game popular in primary schools, where people pass a message from one to another along a line by whispering into their neighbour's ear, and see how it has changed at the end. Regardless of how enthusiastic they are, a hearing impaired person is unlikely to be invited to the Chinese Whispers team.  This may not be fair, but it is reality.

  A well known, although probably apocryphal, example of this comes from the First World War, when soldiers at the front line sent a message to the control area. The original message was "send reinforcements, we are going to advance". The message received was "send three and four pence, we are going to a dance".  threeandfourpence 

Put like this, it is obvious.  So why then do we run some of our mission critical business projects with the equivalent of a deaf mute in the key position in the Chinese Whispers team? 

Read more: Why aren’t hearing impaired people invited to the Chinese Whispers team?

Are you playing snakes and ladders with your CRM project?

Snakes And Ladders - fun sometimes, but not when you only find the snakes

Playing snakes and ladders can be fun, especially when you find and race up all the ladders; but when you seem to find all the lurking snakes, the fun will not seem fun for long.  At least in the world of the children's games, you can put it down to the luck of the dice.  In the real world, it can be even more frustrating, and usually there is no dice to blame.

Achieving CRM success - by climbing ladders and avoiding snakes

Implementing CRM into a business is not easy.  However, there are things that you can do that will make the project easier, bringing you closer to a successful conclusion (ladders), and equally, things that you can do that will make it harder making it less likely that you will meet your business needs on time and on budget (snakes).
CRM projects are only partially about technology. They key to a successful project is to be aware of all of the components:

  • People – the people who will interact with the solution, both users and often customers
  • Processes – how users are used to working and the data that supports those processes
  • Technology – not just the CRM technology, but the effect on the total technology environment

CRM projects also require a different paradigm – one not focussed on development, but on delivering a solution.  The vast majority of projects start from one of the established CRM technologies, so the project is not about developing a CRM solution from scratch, but about configuring the selected software so it meets the business needs well. This means focussing on the gap between the features that the selected technology offers and the business requirements, rather than developing from scratch.  To achieve this, your team need to know what is available out of the box, and design the solution accordingly.

Below I will show some of the key ways to ensure success, i.e. to climb the ladders, and I will help you identify the lurking snakes, i.e. the quick routes to failure.

Read more: Are you playing snakes and ladders with your CRM project?

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We're ready for Dynamics 365 July 2017 (v9).  Are you?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 training in Sydney

Opsis training materials are updated so you learn the new features - as well as the existing material.

Business Intelligence in Dynamics 365 - 4th December

Configuration of Dynamics 365 - 12th December

Sales and Marketing in Dynamics 365 - 7th February

Automation of Dynamics 365 - 16th February

Opsis Dynamics 365 Training schedule

Opsis also offer training on your site and other Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM training solutions.

Opsis is an expert Microsoft Dynamics 365 consulting company. Our focus is your Microsoft Dynamics 365 success - not licence sales or billable hours. As Principal Consultant, Gill oversees all business operations and strategic planning and execution, yet she still believes in offering personal attention to each and every client, so as to understand their needs and offer tailored solutions.  We are based in Sydney, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  We offer Microsoft Dynamics 365 strategy, Microsoft Dynamics 365 scoping, Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation, Microsoft Dynamics 365 technical support, Microsoft Dynamics 365 advice and guidance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 training and mentoring.