The Electoral Commission is a body set up by the United Kingdom (U.K.) parliament to regulate party finance and set election standards. To improve decision making through more accurate data, the organisation deployed customer relationship management (CRM) system Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Now, employees are more productive, enhancing both stakeholder relationships and customer service.
Maintaining records for more than 9,000 stakeholders—including 400 political parties and their officers—was both challenging and time consuming. There were approximately 25 different sources of information to keep up-to-date and combining them to see the big picture was difficult.
Phil Tucker, Head of ICT, The Electoral Commission, says: “There was a lot of data duplication and inaccuracies because staff didn’t have access to a single, authoritative source of information.”
Staff found it a challenge to service customer requests efficiently or prepare for customer meetings, because there was insufficient information to hand. Tucker says: “The legal department had a small case management system, but other staff had a variety of uncoordinated data sources and we felt managing stakeholder relationships could be improved.” Solution
After a thorough investigation into CRM systems, The Electoral Commission opted for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
“We saw that Microsoft Dynamics CRM was easy to use and implement. We also needed to integrate it with PEF Online—our Party Election Finance system—and we were confident that Microsoft Dynamics CRM would do this cost effectively,” says Tucker.
Based on its expertise, IMGROUP was selected to design and implement the system. And as a result of its success it has been the partner of choice for The Electoral Commission ever since. Tucker says: “It responds promptly to issues, is knowledgeable, and provides good service levels. The solution was delivered well and IMGROUP continues to provide consulting expertise and support for our ongoing development.” Benefits
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a single source of stakeholder information, authorised users can manage contact and case information and have a single view of customer communications. The Electoral Commission PEF Online system allows party administrators to manage registrations and contact details. These flow seamlessly into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which means the organisation sees the most up-to-date details. Workload is reduced and data accuracy is increased.
Accurate data and better decisions.IMGROUP delivered a solution providing management with greater insight into how the organisation is performing. Andrew Cook, System Support Officer, The Electoral Commission, says: “With a single view of the customer, our processes have improved and time has been saved. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it’s simple to categorise activities such as nominations or campaigning, so it becomes easy to report on and manage emerging themes and issues.” Tucker adds: “It’s not just management that benefits. IMGROUP worked hard to deliver an intuitive CRM solution, allowing us to make better decisions across the entire organisation. Staff now have a single view of all communications, documents, and records for every stakeholder.”
Easier case work investigation. If a party is suspected of breaching rules, The Electoral Commission has the responsibility of investigating. “Investigation casework details are restricted to authorised staff, but we can now highlight anyone under investigation so other staff are aware. This means before making contact they can approach relevant colleagues to discuss what sort of communication would be appropriate,” says Cook.
Improved relationships with stakeholders. An internal survey of all staff was conducted to investigate whether relationships with stakeholders had changed since the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The response was extremely positive. “Staff felt that the quality of our responses, our ability to share information across the organisation, and our productivity had all improved,” says Tucker. “The score for each of these parameters was graded by staff as ‘above average.’ This represents a notable improvement.”
Less administration and more focus. Automated workflow functionality has reduced time spent on administration and the corresponding cost, leaving staff free to focus on their core activities. For example, much of the standard correspondence that arose after a customer conversation was created manually. These communications are now produced and sent automatically by the CRM system, based on predefined criteria.
Better customer service. The Electoral Commission customers now enjoy an enhanced experience. The latest party details from PEF Online flow through to Microsoft Dynamics CRM so information is current and accurate. “We can now ensure that more of our communications are sent to the right people—and that the communications are relevant,” says Cook. And, because staff can see a complete history of customer interactions, their conversations are more explicit. Tucker says: “Like all government-funded organisations, The Electoral Commission has had to make cuts. We believe that the time savings arising from using Microsoft Dynamics CRM have helped us cope with this. We’re also planning further process improvements in collecting performance information from local authorities, which will further reduce the administrative burden on staff.”
Secure data. Access to any type of record can be configured at a team or individual level. This makes it easy to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need. Tucker says: “Most of the information we store within Microsoft Dynamics CRM is available to all staff. However, sensitive data regarding legal and enforcement issues is restricted to authorised staff only.”
Enhanced reputation.Tucker says: “Our goal is to be effective, transparent, and authoritative. The information and automation provided by Microsoft Dynamics CRM is helping us to deliver on all three. This can only enhance our reputation.” This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.