Developing your brand according to the target audience’s preferences and attracting new customers is just the beginning of a successful business. Another crucial task is building strong long-term relationships and letting your customers know that you care about them. If answering a particular request or solving a specific problem takes too long, the client can prefer one of your competitors one day, and you will lose the advantage in the market.

Luckily, CRM systems can help your company enhance customer data management and solve dozens of problems related to customer interaction. However, due to dozens of various reasons, at some point, you may face the need for CRM migration which can become a painful experience for unprepared business owners. This article will consider the main reasons forcing you to migrate your data and share some tips that can help you minimize the possible risks.

Why CRM Data Migration is Unavoidable Sometimes

CRM migration can be described as a process of migrating customer-related information from your current CRM system to a new one. As you can imagine, such a process may require a lot of time and money. You must analyze all the customer-related info collected through years and even decades of work to understand what bits of information you should update or reorganize, and what must be kept unchanged. The task may seem pretty tricky, but the benefits it can bring by solving a large number of business problems usually outweigh invested efforts.

Probably, the most common reason for CRM migration is the use of obsolete software solutions. New software developers appear in the market, programmers constantly create new technologies, and yesterday’s best CRM solution can turn into legacy software tomorrow. Also, applying cutting-edge technologies and software development techniques and frameworks allows building CRM software quicker and more efficiently. As a result, software developers can build more affordable solutions. It becomes harder and harder for business owners not to shift to the new solution, which causes the need for CRM migration.

A rapidly growing business may bring prosperity but also require new investments. If your company enters new markets and you have to deal with new challenges, you have to make sure that your CRM system can increase its capacity and expand functionality. Otherwise, lack of scalability may become a serious reason to start planning the CRM migration process.

Read Also: How Big Data Can Help Even a Tiny Business to Prosper

Clumsy and unintuitive UI can also be a solid reason for CRM migration. If it takes a significant amount of time to find specific info, the team’s overall productivity will decrease, which can lead to low customer satisfaction.

If you want to make sure that all your company’s departments work as a well-coordinated mechanism, most probably you want to ensure unimpeded data flow. Lack of integration between your CRM system and other applications that your employees use may become a serious obstacle to this goal.

There’s a pure reason not to start from scratch in these and many other cases and prefer CRM migration. All the info about your customers is very valuable and you can’t afford to lose a tiniest bit of it. Losing all the information related to customer interactions may lead to bad relationships with current and future clients. Data related to your customers (contacts, preferences, etc.) and historical sales information should be carefully transferred to the new system.

Besides the data itself, it’s essential to ensure that the data structure won’t change during the CRM migration. By data structure, we mean the mechanisms of storing, organizing, managing, and updating the customer information in your system. In some cases, it’s impossible to migrate data without changing the data structure. Therefore, make sure that you cooperate with a reliable software development company with many years of experience in providing custom CRM development services.

Things to Consider During CRM Migration

Before starting the CRM migration process, it’s vital to make some preparations. It’s vital to allow stakeholders and CRM end-users to share their expectations regarding the functionality of the new CRM system. Suppose your employees face a lack of functionality or have a bad user experience. In that case, their opinion can be a good starting point for determining your expectations of what the CRM system should look like.

The next step is to compare how your current CRM works with the data with the features of the new CRM. According to the specifics of your business, your CRM may use a specific set of types of data, records, and fields. It’s essential to ensure that you won’t lose any information during the migration into the target CRM system due to the differences in data processing and presentation. Customized fields can also be a significant issue. For a smooth migration, it’s essential to ensure that lack of customization features of the target CRM won’t turn the migration process into a disaster.

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Besides, it would be best to remember the attachments that are also an essential part of customer-related information. You need to bring all the attachments into one centralized storage, analyze them and decide how the new CRM system will work with them. For example, your target CRM can store attachments locally or in the cloud. If you prefer the second option, there are some critical issues to consider, such as which company provides cloud services that better suit your company’s needs and budget.

After you make sure that the target CRM system satisfies all your requirements, it’s time to tackle the data directly. The most crucial part is analyzing how your current CRM system stores the information, its format, and what exact pieces of information you want to migrate. During the process, you can also delete some duplicate records, the likelihood of which is very high for any company. Whatever you’re planning, remember that safety must come first. In the case of working with data, there is no more reliable security tool than a timely backup. Therefore, check if all the data was backed up properly, and then re-check a few more times.

The most technical part of the CRM migration is creating specialized scripts and tools. A single mistake at this step can harm your data and lead to unpreventable financial and reputational losses. If you don’t have an experienced specialist in your IT department, we can recommend you to find a reliable company providing CRM migration services. Remember what we said about safety? Backups! Along with the backups, testing is another crucial part of successful migration. Therefore, it’s essential to test and retest the proper work of migration tools and scripts before starting the actual migration activities. That’s when you can see if some information can get lost during the CRM migration process due to format incompatibility.

Conclusions

Your data is one of your most valuable assets, and like any other asset, it requires your close attention. If you want to get the most out of using it, you have to develop a valid customer data storing and analysis technique. If you cooperate with custom software developers, they can take care of the lion’s share of activities involved in creating a CRM system allowing you to benefit from the use of your data. However, nothing lasts forever, and one day you may face the need for CRM migration. The amount of work required for successful migration may seem an unbearable task. Still, if you have reliable specialists with solid expertise on your side, the whole process will go smoothly, and results won’t dissatisfy you.

If you want to learn more about CRM migration benefits and possible risks, please contact us.