Improving business results with CRM: putting users first

Every organization wants to grow. However, when a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is implemented, businesses often focus on management reporting instead of user experience. They forget that a subpar interface drastically decreases the amount of data entered in the tool. The same goes for little focus on user-specific feedback via dashboards. This leads to user frustration, poor data quality and insufficient management reporting. A successful CRM implementation requires a focus on creating excellent user experience. It’s all about making users happy. But how do you achieve that?

User interface 

A well-designed and personalized UI makes data entry and retrieval a lot easier for any user on a CRM platform. And it doesn’t necessarily take huge effort or time to implement it.

Page layouts are one of the key ingredients in a CRM to achieve this goal. There is one golden rule: less is more! A page layout determines the fields that are shown for each type of record. Each user profile can have its own page layout. For example, a sales rep will want to fill out personal information in CRM. And see crucial data to provide him a 360° view on his customers. Marketers, however, might just be interested in profiling customer characteristics when setting up new marketing campaigns. With the help of page layouts, we provide them a different user experience which focuses on their specific needs. But without compromising on data quality. After all, the data is still stored on the same platform, regardless of what these users sees.

Lightning Design System

Over the last couple of years, Salesforce has made tremendous efforts in developing the Lightning Design System. It allows smarter, more intuitive ways to present CRM information on a screen. But it does even more behind the scenes. The component design allows administrators to have more control over the pages in the environment. They easily decide which component goes where on the screen. On top of that, they can include visibility filters to indicate when it should show up on the screen. Within the Lighting Platform, many standard components are available nowadays, but why stop there? On the Salesforce AppExchange, there are countless components available. One of them might very well be just what you are looking for. Business card scanners, social profile information on your customers, an image carousel, etc. There’s even a Belgian beer explorer. Although I’m not quite sure on the added business value for this one 😉

Field Service Lightning App

Next to these tools, it’s important to understand the impact of using data on different types of devices. The first focus of an implementation is often for desktop usage, but what about sales reps? They do all of their day to day activities on their smartphones. Shouldn’t we help them too? Already taken care of! As the Salesforce 1 app is using the same “Lightning” technology to show data on a mobile screen. Besides that, mobile cards and compact layouts allow you to further specify the appearance of the data on mobile devices to highlight certain elements.

When your company is focusing on Field Service, your technicians are now able to handle service appointments, report time, used materials, service reports and customer signatures via their dedicated Field Service Lightning app.


Now that you’ve got the User Interface covered and just made a lot of users happy, it might be the perfect time to have the system take care of some heavy lifting. By adding an automation feature to the platform. Salesforce offers a variety of options there. Think about what approval processes, duplicate checks, escalation rules, workflow processes and guided lighting flows could mean to your business and reduce manual user input and increase data quality! Every click counts and time is money…or an extra coffee with your customer.

Ready to take it to a higher level? Elisebot is a nice example of going beyond the obvious tools available. Turning speech into Salesforce CRM data. Elisebot calls your sales rep after his customer meeting to get his feedback and allow him to schedule follow-up activities. When your sales reps see a lot of customers in a single day, it will drastically improve your data quality. And it will have your sales reps focus on what they know best: selling your products or services!


It’s important to acknowledge that where management has great plans with a customer focused solution, the employee using the solution wants to know what’s in it for him.

After the smooth user interface, the next step is the direct feedback with clear information on the user role or job. This personalized information can get to the users in different ways, but always with a clear overview of their customers, orders, region, targets, etc. The more personalized, the better.

Let’s start with a great homepage, not the typical homepage that directs you to other pages, but a homepage with personalized content: that one view on your tasks, approvals, etc. a dashboard supported by a Salesforce assistant called Einstein that helps you to call the right customer, follow up that urgent order, win that important deal.

Really personalized

Dashboard are the grouping of multiple reports to give you that 360° overview of a customer, to show you your targets or whatever info you need to start your day. “What would you like to see in your dashboard.” can be answered by “What are the first things you want to know when you start your business day?” With personalized, we mean personalized: no general country targets, but the personal targets and the customers that need your sales rep’s attention.

The step after that would be to download or develop custom components that give you that extra info. When you are into the packaging business for instance, a component that gives you all the info on where a certain package is and when it will arrive comes in handy. This probably means integration with external systems that contain that info, but it’s worth the effort when you know this info is required multiple times a day.

Users first. It is an approach that will contribute to the success of your CRM project.
Happy users. Happy customers. Call us!

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