Ensuring your CRM Solution has Scalability to Support Critical Strategies

Customer relationship management applications are used across multiple business processes in an organization. This means that at any given time multiple users log-in and access information from the CRM application. In such a scenario, 'scalability' emerges as a major challenge to support the needs of these varied users. An inability to add, update or view customer information by users when interacting with customers or analyzing information will lead to low user adoption and also affect performance, eventually leading to customer churn.

There are many ways to mitigate these risks, but the first step is to identify the issue. Once you understand the challenges you are likely to face in terms of scalability, you can choose the right way to deal with them or if you are looking to implement a CRM solution, these are some key factors to keep in mind. Here we take a look at some common issues and solutions which are best-practices.

3 Reasons CRM applications can face scalability challenges
Scalability is a common issue faced by any software which offers a complex architecture utilized by numerous people at the same time.
  1. A CRM application is used to input data, seek answers to queries, aid in business decision-making, apply presentation logic and much more. These complex processes tend to put a lot of burden on the servers supporting the applications. Such an issue can be tackled through advanced clustering or chaining multiple servers.
  2. Another major reason for scalability problems is the customization of CRM applications. Every business has unique needs which need to be tackled through specific CRM processes. This customization leads to an increased complexity in the CRM solutions offered. Such complexity in the software further increases scalability issues, especially during periods of high usage.
  3. As businesses grow and internal processes change and become more complex, growing volumes of information from numerous channels and multi-system integrations can cause downtime. 
Organizations invest time and money in implementing a CRM software to enhance performance, managers need to look into the scalability capabilities of a CRM solution - it is important to ensure that there are no backlogs as transactions increase. Processes need to run smoothly regardless of the number of users or volume of information.
Tackling scalability challenges to avoid downtime
Ensuring optimal network performance and secure access to the CRM application for all remote and internal users will increase server efficiency by reducing its utilization. This helps users to access information seamlessly and does not affect configured alerts, escalations, assignments, etc.

With any CRM application, it is essential to understand the individual needs of your business before taking on an integrated solution. The risks of scalability also have to be identified for your specific needs. Is your business growing? Are there more users or transactions being added to your CRM application? If you think the work load will be increasing, it is very important to choose the right CRM software from the start, keeping in mind that it should be able to scale easily to accommodate the increase in traffic.

Make sure you check your CRM software on these important scalability parameters:
  • Is the response time being affected as user load increases?
  • Does the server run smoothly, no matter how complex the task, and without any deadlocks or leaks?
  • How much additional maintenance would it require under normal working conditions?
  • Is there undue distress on the server due to inefficient caching?
  • Most importantly, is the CRM application stable and efficient when many users are accessing it simultaneously?
Make sure you understand the range of work load the application is likely to get at peak hours and test it on the same range to ensure its capabilities in dealing with the extensive work load.

Complex tasks and multiple user access will be a common factor for any CRM solution - if it freezes or loses time and data, the application will be a hindrance with no visible ROI. At the end of the day, your CRM application is only effective if it works under undue pressure - optimizing performance even at erratic peak hours when employees are expected to deliver a consistent customer experience. 

David Fernandez