What is CRM?
CRM is the acronym for customer relationship management. If you are running a business, you need to make decisions now and then. And those decisions, in turn, affect the employees as well as the customers of that company. But ultimately, the point is, why is customer relationship important for the company and why is it important to have a whole system or software dedicated to it? Let's go in a little deeper.
CRM simply is a way to manage people interested in your company. They could be the ones who have started showing interest in your business i.e, future customers and the present customers. In order to succeed, every business needs to attract customers to create and grow their value. And as we all know, more value means more turnover.
In a nutshell, CRM is a system that is used to analyze customer interactions and behaviours. The CRM manages customers by retaining and acquiring them.
What Are CRM Systems?
Earlier, when CRM systems were introduced they were just a platform to store customer details, track sales pipelines and store general company mails. But now it looks like a different picture altogether.
According to research, most CRM systems are hosted on the cloud (nearly 75%) and with every new update, there’s a better and faster functioning feature. With better technology like integrating industrial applications, CRM systems have become more interactive.
What is CRM Testing?
The competition in the industrial world is ever increasing. Thus with today’s technology challenges, CRM systems need continuous testing simply to keep them working.
Businesses that have an inherent CRM software need to have continuous CRM testing strategies alongside to provide an exceptional experience to their customers right from the beginning.
CRM testing is the validation of the fact that the CRM system is functioning properly and delivers goals against business before installation, after installation and with any new update of the given software.
CRM software isn't needed by any heavily investing organization nowadays. To get the most out of their investments, the organisations customise the software and upgrade it, aligning them with their business applications. They integrate the organisation's workflows and the business goals and target customers in that software. With continuous integrations and updates, the CRM software becomes quite different from the one you invested in earlier. With each upgrade and additional feature, you need to run CRM testing as there is a new level of complexity every time.
Also read: Microsevices Testing
Why is CRM Testing Crucial for Organizations?
- It is needed to streamline your business workflows and integrate different departments.
- It is needed to synchronise organisational applications and provide a holistic view to the customer of the company.
- CRM software is needed to deliver an exceptional customer experience.
- It is needed so that every employee can input correct data according to his department and all of it can be synchronized accordingly.
- It is used to accumulate and analyse customer data and use that for focused marketing and sales practices.
- It helps to build trust among customers.
Steps to Follow Before Initiating the CRM Testing Process
Here are the steps for the CRM testing process:
Prepare a Testing Team
At the fundamental level of CRM testing, there should be the following people involved-
- Application Developer
- Application Analyst
- Project Manager
- Quality Assurance Test Engineer
Communication is the sole thing that makes things clear on both customer and organisation ends. For quality CRM testing, it is important that feedback is given at every level by every team.
Make a CRM Testing Budget Plan
It is important to understand the purpose and targets to achieve post-testing. By preparing a budget, you can avoid paying excessively and achieving nothing in return. Time will also be wasted and things will seem very chaotic without a budget. The things that should be taken into consideration while making a budget are as follows:
- Consultancy fees
- Training expenditure
- Phone costs
- Data backup and its storage facilities
- Cost of reduction in productivity
- Reviewing the payoff
- Handling any future risk assessments
Determining CRM Testing Deadlines
Setting deadlines and targets before CRM software testing is equally important. Another important factor to keep in mind is that the team is aware of the deadlines and what you have to achieve in that given period. If the team doesn’t know the deadlines, they will delay the process, which will cause a loss of money as well as time.
Managing Changes and Upgrades
Unexpected change management strategies are very important. They help to tackle problems of resistance, any faults, poor communication and front-end and back-end issues. The customer interaction is the end and the final stage of the software. Thus it is very important to understand the gap between their expectations and the user experience provided by the software.
During the testing of CRM software, it is very important to take a look at the bugs that have arisen in the first place and jot it down somewhere. So that in the next training of the CRM testing team, these problems can be discussed and it can be made sure that they don’t arise further.
The CRM testing procedures make a safe ground for the analysts to practice hit and trial without worrying about the user end. The team members can take the risk and better the software.
By allowing volunteers to slip into it, there will be a strong idea about user experience and what can be done to improve the CRM software. The software can be developed into a very advanced platform, but until and unless it does not provide a seamless experience to users, it is of no use.
Also read: Localization Testing
The Procedure for Testing The CRM Software
The steps for carrying out a CRM test are given as follows.
Step 1- Check the Data Quality and Conversion
The major things to look out for a while testing the quality of data is-
- Make sure there is no repetition or duplication of data.
- Ensure that there is no wrong field populated, which means that the details of one transaction should not appear under another.
- Make sure that there is a proper storage space dedicated to hidden data and that no user or customer is indeed able to access it.
- Check that the data structure is structured properly and the selected fields should appear in the correct gridlines.
- Guarantee that the new and updated user data and card information should be saved and accessible on time.
- Scan the software to check whether the data is accessible to the right users at the right time or not.
- Make sure that no data goes missing or leaked.
- Make sure that the analysis and graphs represent the data and their facts correctly. Critical data like sales percentage and the sales pipeline are on point.
- Check that all the data is being sorted according to the classifications. The data fields should be sorted correctly.
Step 2- Checking the Functions and Features
Make sure that the software functions are working properly. The few functions to keep in mind while you are carrying out the CRM testing are-
1. Make sure whether the access parameters are set correctly or not
For example, a pro membership user for that software should only be able to access the exclusive features and not the usual member.
2. Check if the transaction that took place has been updated and posted on the software
If the CRM is being integrated from the Point of Sale (POS), it should show in the software.
3. Check what happens if the connection is lost
Make sure that there is absolutely no error when the network is lost. There should be no loss or leakage of user data. A proper alert should show when there is a slow or no connection.
4. Test if the partial search function is working properly
The partial search feature should work properly in case the first one isn’t responding.
5. Check if the software can change the preference of transaction type
Users should be able to change the transaction type and set it to default every time they make a transaction on the CRM software.
6. Make sure that the data does not go mismatched
Customers having the same first and last names should not be mismatched with their data and user preferences.
7. Verify that the transactions specific to different departments are working properly
Any transactions that take place in the needed department should take place without any bugs.
Step 3- Validating the Reporting and Integration
Proper integration of different departmental heads should be checked. The following areas should be covered to ensure proper integration.
1. Check the accuracy and reliability of the data
The accuracy and reliability of the CRM software should be thoroughly checked. This will determine whether they have matching existing reports.
2. Check the format of the reports that are being exported
The exported reports should be checked to see whether they are in the proper format and sequence.
3. And/ or filters
There is a huge difference between ‘and’ and ‘or’ and ensuring that their filters are working properly is important.
4. ‘No input’ values should be assigned properly
Sometimes the values under ‘no input’ get overlooked. It should be checked that this is getting prevented.
5. Make sure that the tags are continuous
Labels should be the same, no matter where they appear in the CRM software.
6. Validating the store or departmental filters
The store filters help in providing specific information. This will enhance the user experience.
7. The proper date and time should be entered into the CRM software
From creation to updation, the date and time should be correct.
8. Test titles, headings and builder versions
The CRM reports should show proper headings and builder versions.
9. Test report performance
User data should be filled in the reports in a proper format.
Step 4- Checking the Process of User Acceptance
The following areas should be covered while validating user acceptance.
- Documentation- the documents should be updated according to the user.
- Usability- unless the CRM software is tested thoroughly and all the bugs have been fixed, the application should not be released.
- Correctness and Completeness of Functions- the present and integrated features should work bug-free.
- Reliability- the software should be made in such a way that it gives the users a seamless experience and can gain their trust quickly.
- Confidentiality- the data provided by users should be kept confidential and not get leaked.
This four-stepped process will ensure that all the factors of the CRM software have been looked into and thoroughly checked.
Also read: Agile Testing
Advantages of CRM
Below are the advantages of CRM:
1. Effective Customer Acquisition
It boosts the business value by increasing the sales and marketing processes. CRM helps to build a clearer picture of their customers. It helps to build a connection with customers, in turn giving them a sound experience and boosting the company’s goodwill.
2. Speeding Up The Sales Conversion Process
It allows the company to interact with prospective customers and channelising them into the sales funnel. From there, the process becomes easy.
3. Lowering Time Costs, Boosting Morale And Team Productivity
CRM system reduces the paper system. It transfers the storage of the organisation’s day-to-day paperwork into the CRM software. Cutting down the time spent on paperwork gives more time to the staff to channel their productivity into other tasks. This increased productivity per hour for the employee seems rewarding.
4. It Brings Departments Closer
All the big and small departments are integrated under one umbrella called the CRM software. The organisation’s departments get closely knit together and give a better sense of workflow, which subsequently enhances the services provided to the users.
Disadvantages of CRM
Below are the disadvantages of CRM:
1. Technology Trusting Issues
The technology that organisations use is changing continuously. With sensitive data uploaded on the CRM platform, there is a potential danger of it getting mismanaged and leaked.
2. Over-Reliance on CRM Can Diminish Customer Loyalty
If the staff relies too much on CRM software, it will reduce their ability to deal with customers on a personal level. This might botch the company’s goodwill and value.
3. May Not Suit Every Business
Some businesses don’t need customer interaction to boost their value. CRM might not be the answer for them.