So, you are an engineering company where engineering reports or proposals are longer, several paragraphs, and even several pages in length. Or, you are a manufacturing organization where user experiences with product or service need to be documented at length. Or, you are a construction company or you serve construction companies where project reports need to be in sufficient detail for others to engage in planning and troubleshooting various situations, laying down a solid paper trail. Perhaps you are a lighting company with reps conducting site audits or lamp/fixture testing and reporting findings. Or you are a financial planner or advisor needing to document the details of meetings with clients. Perhaps you are a pharmaceutical company and need to document drug research or clinical work.
Perhaps you are… - many organizational situations require explanatory detail, specifics, and paragraphs of complex text.
In this blog I make a distinction that senior organization leaders should consider who are using or considering using CRM software systems. Understanding this distinction can make all of the difference between a successful CRM user adoption experience and an unhappy one.
That issue is the difference between “data” (short notes) and “information” (longer paragraphs) and appropriate CRM system entry tools. “Data” and “information” are very different, as they are of two completely different forms and sizes and purposes, each of which is best facilitated by a different kind of entry tool.
1. Data (quantitative, explicit, numerical, statistical, and one-word or short phrase text)
These data are reported as entries into forms and templates or are simply informational. They are easily recorded by digital tools such as smart phones, tablets, computers. Entry of dates, amounts, numbers, occurrences, additions or subtractions from inventory, and many other such numerical or statistical data is simple with the amazing technologies of today. The application of speech recognition software is especially valuable for CRM data entry of these kinds. These applications are called “closed” speech recognition environments because the software is trained to the user, the vocabulary is finite and defined, and the systems are often IVR prompted. Appropriately, the advances in these supporting technologies to enter data into CRM systems are astounding and becoming very functional and practical. Apple’s Siri is an example of a successful speech recognition; “closed” CRM data capture application.
2. Information (qualitative, implicit, sentences, paragraphs, longer explanatory text)
These dictation events are longer, more comprehensive, more complex, and must be handled for CRM information entry very differently than the data entry described above. The amazing technologies that facilitate data entry do not lend themselves to information entry. These messages are paragraph(s) length, with descriptions and explanations of background, context, perceptions, insights, prototype plans and strategies. They are often complex descriptions of events and sequences, reasonings and histories. These entries are what we call “open” dictation environments not amenable to speech recognition software because there is little to no opportunity for system training, no controlled environment, no definitive vocabularies, and many distractions and noisy interruptions.
Entry of information requires a voice-based CRM entry system that allows the users to speak openly, without constraint, in any ambient environment (wind blowing, people talking, airport announcements being broadcast, cold in speaker’s nose), the essential information from their work, have it transcribed manually for accuracy, and then have it sync automatically into the fields in the CRM database.