Two things your museum CRM must be

Dr Greg Turner
July 04, 2017

Simplicity is the hallmark of a great Customer Relationship Management system. Put fancy features lists, bells and whistles to one side because a CRM only needs to be two things: easy to use and easy for external systems to talk to.

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If your museum has never had a CRM, it’s easy to be tempted by CRM vendor’s checklists of ‘can’t-live-without-them’ features. And if this isn’t your first CRM, you probably know what you like. But easy-to-use and easy-to-talk-to are, as the hyperbole goes, everything.

Why is simplicity so important?

If a CRM is easy to use, it will be easy to learn, and the technology will be accessible to more of your team. Getting acquainted with a new system quickly will allow them to make better use of its more powerful features.

If a CRM is easy to talk to, developers will be able to feed it with activity that happens anywhere the visitor’s email address is associated, like shop purchases or in-gallery interactive experiences.

On the flip side, if it’s easy to get data out of a CRM, it’s easier to do custom analysis, connect to other systems like your website or Zapier for automation. And when the time comes to move to a different CRM, it’ll be much easier to migrate all the data to the new CRM.

Get a little help from your contemporaries

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In the last post, we talked about how it wasn’t the best idea to make technology choices based on what other museums are doing, but that’s not entirely true. Looking to peers with similar-sized organisations to yours is a good place to start your research.

Size shouldn’t be the only comparison point though. The specific features you want out of a CRM depend on your customers’ buyer journeys, as well as your ambitions for personalising your relationships with customers. Talk to museums with similar goals to yours or consultants who have worked with a few museums - but make sure you don’t choose something just because another museum uses it, without talking to that museum first.

And if there’s a particular CRM that takes your fancy, find a museum like yours that uses it and talk to them. What works? What doesn’t? Don’t forget the most important things: is it easy to use and easy to talk to?

If all your research leads you to Tessitura as the best choice, a future post will suggest are some ways you can integrate it with your website.

Check out our other posts about Tessitura and CRMs for museums.

Topics: Tessitura, CRM