Change Management and Encouraging Adoption: the Cultural Shifts Needed for CRM Success

Change Management and Encouraging Adoption: the Cultural Shifts Needed for CRM Success

The shift to using CRM isn’t just about choosing the right technology. For the best results, CRM needs to be implemented – and used – across your whole organization, which means a cultural shift is necessary, or the success of the project can be jeopardized. In fact, one study by Forrester indicated that more than one-fifth of CRM problems are, in fact, “people problems” of one sort or another. These problems included:


During our recent webinar with American Banker, two Doxim clients, Westminster Savings Credit Union and Copperfin Credit Union, shared how they managed the cultural shift around their CRM implementation to minimize risk and maximize adoption and ongoing usage. Here are five top ways they ensured success:

Establishing CRM Champions

Nikki Jelstad, Manager of Customer Experience at Westminster Savings Credit Union, indicates that training champions in CRM eased the adoption process at her credit union considerably. Westminster brought together champions from every location and line of business for intensive, in-person training. When they returned to their home locations, they acted as subject matter experts and CRM advocates, assisting their peers as they worked through online CRM training. This facilitated the process of training CRM users across the entire enterprise, and supporting them after the system went live.

Communicate Early- What’s in it for me?

For Copperfin Credit Union, a solid communication strategy was key to the success of its CRM rollout, says Steve Marquis, VP of Sales & Member Experience. Their change management process meant that communication about CRM started well before the implementation, so there were no surprises for employees. Copperfin leaders used a multi-channel communication strategy focused on how CRM would make the day to day lives of staff members simpler. By communicating early and often, they engaged their entire team and built enthusiasm.

Diversify your training

Training, both Jelstad and Marquis agree, is pivotal to CRM success. From user guides to online training and quizzes to Slack support channels and on-site SMEs, both credit unions made sure that their people knew how to use their new tools correctly. Training is an ongoing process for their organizations, both to refresh employee knowledge and to explain new processes and workflows as CRM usage continues to scale up. 

Solicit feedback and act fast!

For leadership in both credit unions, soliciting feedback on how their new CRM was also an essential part of the process. Establishing a clear format and a single point of contact for CRM-related questions, comments and concerns allowed the credit unions to identify and resolve issues sooner, while also helping employees feel heard. Both credit unions also emphasized the importance of communicating to stakeholders that their feedback would be acted on, and then closing the loop by showing them how it was used.

Incentivize, gamify, and “go all in”!

Don’t be shy about incentivizing CRM adoption, says Steve Marquis of Copperfin. Measuring usage and reinforcing it via prizes and contests is a great way to get everyone excited about using new technology, and the enthusiasm it generates can’t be overestimated. Since CRM is a critical part of Copperfin’s efforts to drive value for its members, investing in employee engagement paid big dividends for everyone involved. Today, their CRM system is helping the Copperfin team provide more customized experiences to members, whenever and however they contact the credit union.

Do you want to learn more about the human side of CRM?

For more takeaways about change management and encouraging CRM adoption from Copperfin Credit Union and Westminster Savings Union, simply click below to watch Doxim’s recent panel discussion on “The Strategic Importance of CRM for Modern Customer Engagement”, featuring change leaders from both organizations.


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