Blaming tools and programs has become a trend these days.
A lot of people are blaming CRM right now, but the system itself is not the actual problem. 69 percent of CRM’s implementation failure to meet its goals is due to a lack of planning for the entire implementation process.
You can find a plethora of articles online about how Slack is ruining work and how social media is destroying real-life communication and causing self-esteem issues.
However, CRM, social media and Slack (among many others) are just tools. As we would say at Toyota: it’s not the tool that’s the problem, it’s how you use the tool. A sword can be used to kill and it can be used to protect. Anything good can be used to a fault.
It’s Not the Tool That’s the Problem, It’s How You Use the Tool
Very often, people see the tool as an answer to a problem. This is the exact reason why we jump in when there’s a new app or system, even if we still don’t have a clear understanding of its purpose, functionality and how it fits our needs.
People want things done quickly, so they throw things against the wall and hope they stick. Sometimes, they do (if you’re lucky), but oftentimes it results in wasted time and money. When this happens, we blame the tool.
But it shouldn’t be this way. The tool shouldn’t be considered as an automatic solution to any problem you have in your organization. The effectiveness of a tool in solving a problem depends on how you use it, how you make it your own, how you customize it and how you strategize and integrate it into your operations. In short, it involves critical thinking.
You can’t just run a tool and expect it to work. Email marketing, on average, drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. It remains the most effective messaging tool in business, but it doesn’t guarantee all email campaigns will perform well and bring in the desired ROI.
When running an email drip campaign, you have to think about how to segment your audience; talk like a human to actually build connection and interest rather than using templated content or inhumane emails; and make sure your data is accurate.
One tool that is often misused and misunderstood is a chatbot. In using a chatbot, you have to know the right time it pops up in the customer experience for it to actually be helpful to a customer. You also have to determine when it’s no longer appropriate because the customer actually wants to hear from a person, not a bot.
Tools can improve processes, but they can’t replace real interactions and personalized connections. When using technology, you also have to understand the importance of developing a customer experience that differentiates in a digital world. The human touch makes all the difference.
As a Leader…
It’s your responsibility to teach your people to focus on how you are changing instead of what you are changing. The question is not what the tool can do for your process: The question is how you can use the tool to improve your process.
Chatbots, email drip campaigns, order management systems and any other tools are merely tools. The success or failure of any tool or system depends on how we use them and how we use our critical thinking to make the tool work for us.
Like I said before: Anything good can be used to a fault. But if we think critically about our intentions and the reason behind why we want to use a certain tool, we will be more successful in the long run when everything aligns.
In love and respect,