We have an inhouse CRM system which our sales staff have used for years. We have since implemented a new business model which the system is not compatible with. The new system is done but with major improvements including additional data fields, electronic user agreements and much more.

The CEO would like to just import the users over so not to cause any headaches for the sales staff. There are “user fields” in the new system that aren’t in the old one, so importing the users would require leaving details blank that we need.

The suggestion on the table is to have an admin sit down and register each of the users for them. Filling out their details, agreeing to privacy and acceptable use policies, agreeing to our sales schedule (which some but not all users have already agreed to on paper) for them.

Every ounce of me feels like this is a bad idea, but I don’t have anything to validate my opinion. I’m wondering if you have anything to add to my concern, or to explain why it’s really not an issue.

A couple of things to note are; the old system will still be used side by side with the new and the sales agents are independent reps (1099’s).

  • Right forum and clearly worded question. Welcome to UX stack exchange. :) – nightning Jan 14 '15 at 23:02

You're right to be nervous about this sort of import where somebody else is agreeing and accepting policies for the user without their knowledge.

I understand from the business perspective you want to use 1 system. There are no reason why you cannot import user data from one system to another, EXCEPT you have changed what your users have originally agreed upon when they signup using the old system.

If you already have an admin sit down to go through this group of users, I would highly recommend having them make a list of users who have not already agreed to the new set of policies on paper. I'm going to assume the users have already given permission for your business to contact them via email (etc). At minimal, you should create a page about the new policies, send it to that list of users and include with it ways to contact you for more information and a method to "opt out".

Once you have their implicit consent, then you can import them over.

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  • All the current agents’ contract have a clause which allows us to make changes to them, so we should be ok as long as we communicate the import. Thanks for that suggestion. Unfortunately the reps are essentially not allowed to work with us unless they agree to these policies and contracts. So what I’m still slightly unsure about is changing them, and agreeing to the changes for them (which again, they already agreed to any future changes in the previous version). Any thoughts there? – epool Jan 14 '15 at 23:37
  • @edward.pool Okay, then I think the best you can do is the Facebook approach of informing users of the policy changes happening of X date. If you don't like them, leave before then. – nightning Jan 14 '15 at 23:40

One of the many benefits of upgrading your systems is that it adds new functionalities to existing processes. These new fields you're describing probably serve some purpose.

If you are going to migrate data from old systems, make sure you can identify which records were migrated and which values are filled out with dummy values. Otherwise you're defeating the purpose of upgrading your CRM system, you'll basically devalue all of these new features with bogus data.

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I think the biggest problem you're going to have is allowing an admin to accept privacy and use policies on behalf of users. There should be some form of communication with the users from the sales agents explaining system updates require additional information and policy documentation sign off.

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