Navigability/Ease of Use: You want to be able to quickly navigate from one thing to another in your CRM. This should be true of all of its features but that just can’t always be the case. Some tasks you do frequently, such as entering a contact, searching for a contact, adding a property, or making an appointment with a contact in your database. At a minimum you should be able to accomplish these tasks with a minimum number of clicks, on a minimum number of screens. Since adding a contact is something you do a lot, it should be easy to get to a new contact screen very quickly, and then when you get there it should be quick to add information and quick to retrieve it. In this image, under the logo and to the right of the word Contacts you see an Add button. One click and you’re adding a contact. And that Add button is on almost every screen. That is an example of ease of use.
Think about getting a call from a past client out of the blue. The first thing you do is go to their contact screen and review what you know about them while you are talking to them. How many clicks does it take to get to that person’s contact detail screen, and how many clicks do you have to make, or how much do you have to scroll, or how many screens do you have to go to, to get that information. When you’re looking at CRMs, go through that scenario with each one. Optimally, Name, Address, Phone, Email, Web Site, Notes, and Email History can be viewed with one click and with no scrolling. The closer you get to that the better.
Something to bear in mind with this one. None of the CRMs are easy to use for every single feature. My advice is to identify which things you will be doing the most, and see how easy they are to do. But then you have all the rest of the features. Some of which you will use, and some of which you will not. If you find that there are some things that are clunky (take too many clicks), don’t immediately eliminate that CRM. Instead try to look at the big picture. Does the CRM also have features that another CRM does not? Are they going to save you time that the others will not? If so, does the time those features save outweigh the time it takes to do the extra couple clicks for those other features that you think are clunky? Overall, which CRM is going to save you the most time?
Next - Part 3 - Learning Curve