How to Choose a CRM/Ticketing System for your Organisation

Posted by on Sep 26, 2014 in Blog, Services

Think about the customer – Customer Relationship Management and the system that delivers it is likely to be the very first point of contact your customer has with you. So it’s vital to get it right and make your customers happy.

Put another way: ‘If growth is what you’re after, you won’t learn much from complex measurements of customer satisfaction or retention. You simply need to know what your customers tell their friends about you’. Frederick F. Reichheld

Choosing the right system will help you achieve your business and CRM objectives, in developing all potential revenue streams and building a 360 degree view of your customer and their needs.   Choosing the wrong system could spell financial and customer relationship disaster!  Making it an organisational decision, led from the top, rather than a marketing one will lead to a successful business strategy.

So here is my step by step process for helping arts organisations to choose the best CRM and ticketing software for them. Remember systems are key tools in delivering marketing, driving communications, relating to customers, achieving sales and satisfying customers:

Step 1: Information Gathering

You may be able to do this bit yourself or you may need some help. My scoping sessions at the start of process are important in establishing if the organisation knows what it want, what it could have, the timeline for the project, and importantly who will be on the team and who makes the decisions.  Also what software is out there and how the software will integrate with other parts of the business.

Step 2: Specification

You can use spreadsheets to detail your criteria or you can work with me using a unique online Functionality Builder tool (through my partnership with The Ticketing Institute) to detail your specific functionality which will then be documented by a simple scoring process. Your needs will be matched against all the leading suppliers, which I will rate for you.

Step 3: Priced Tenders

Having made a shortlist the next step would be to issue an invitation to tender. It’s common to require three priced tenders, with systems relevant to your organisation and suppliers capable of providing you with the service you want and require all suppliers to match their system capabilities to your Functionality Specification.  You can leave this all up to me, I know the suppliers and the process and all you have to do is turn up for the demos…

Step 4: Evaluation

Invite the first placed supplier for an evaluation session. Allow reasonable time to review a system – it is not a demonstration, you are in the driving seat so review in detail how exactly the system will work in relation to your organisation and its needs.   Here your negotiations with the supplier will benefit from my experience — I take an independent view and importantly my advice is not influenced by any single ticketing supplier relationship.

Step 5: Implementation

This last step can be the hardest in practice and again where my specialist help can ease the process. I would review the contract; set out a “scope” or “statement of work” spelling out what will be done and when; work with you to allocate the internal resources for the project, set clear agreed milestones and dates, distribute task responsibility and schedule regular project updates to review progress.

Organisational buy-in is key to the success of this whole process. So right at the start build a cross organisational team with representatives from every department and level.  Remember the opinion of every member of staff counts as everyone will need to own the system and the customer experience.

Keeping up to date with systems, suppliers (so who’s out there and who’s not anymore) and the latest technology can be quite daunting. I’m in regular contact with suppliers and their systems, through face to face demos, which means I can pass on that knowledge to my clients.

Think of me as cupid, helping you to fire your golden arrow at the right software!
To find out more contact me at: helendunnett@hd-consulting.co.uk

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