Tuesday, October 28, 2008
CRM software must be able to track current clients, future prospects and referral sources as well as make that data accessible company-wide.
When all contact with clients is tracked in the database, an area shows everyone in the company what has been completed. Track surveys, holiday cards, client lunches, emails, etc.
CRM software can help the marketing deparment track metrics on all aspects of the individuals and companies in the database.
CRM software can lead to increased efficiency, effectiveness and reliability of information. CRM software compiles and tracks all inforamtion saving time and money.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Choosing the right CRM solution can mean the difference between the success and failure of your CRM initiative.
Tell me about your background?
Analyze each vendor's history, including financial status, mission statment, and reputation to determine which one is right for you.
What capabilities does your product have?
Request a list of features for each product, and conduct a close side-by-side comparison.
Can I see a demo?
Seeing the application in action will provide insight into what each CRM company offers.
Can I speak to your customers?
Most CRM companies are willing to let you speak to existing customers. Speak to several types to get the most accurate picture of how the CRM application has impacted their business.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Make sure you've gotten as much as possible out of your CRM solution. Schedule some time with your vendor to discuss the following:
Upgrades: Are you using the latest release of your CRM system? Compare the capabiltities of the latest offering with those provided by your existing solution.
Add-On Enhancements: Which value-added features did you opt not to purchase with your CRM system the first-time around?
While they may not have been useful to your then, they may be just what you are looking for now,
Reporting and Analytics: Nothing helps a company increase the value of its CRM system like reporting and analytics.
Businesses can transform the massive volumes of raw customer data stored within the CRM system into valuable, timely, actionable insight into customer needs, wants, preferences and behaviors.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
When your company decides to purchase a CRM solution, it is important to define your CRM requirements.
Outline your needs and goals, and translate those into a firm list of key cirteria. To identify your top CRM requirements, gather insight into the expectations of your customers, your company, and the needs of your sales, marketing and service staff.
What are the primary business drivers?
You can most accurately discover and prioritize your CRM requirements by understanding what problems your are trying to solve, what processes you are trying to improve.
Who are your primary stakeholders?
Involving your core user base in project planning can help you more clearly determine your requirements. Knowing how the members of your sales, marketing and service teams interact with customers as well as the challenges they most often face help you map out the tools they'll need to perform their jobs more effectively.
What changes have clients requested, and which ones will have the most positive impact with them?
Remember that CRM is really all about gaining market share and improving satisfaction among your customer base.
What are the critical succss factors and how do they need to be measured?
The ability to analyze and assess the success or failure of a CRM initiative through the use of reports and dashboards is a must have on the CRM requirement list.
Do you anticipate any changes in the future?
Your CRM requirements should not only address your short-term needs, but your long-term plans as well.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
If you are running a service-based business, you typically don't have to worry about product returns, but you still need to have customer service at the top of your priority list. Using a CRM solution can help.
Service providers need to be well equipped with answers. It is your responsibility to arm your employees with knowlesge so they can provide clear, helpful answers.
The service industry requires a more precise match between the customer's definition of a problem and the service provider's solution. Clarification and explanation, therefore, play an integral part in the communication process between service providers and clients.
Service providers need to separate themselves from their work to address concerns properly and fairly. While the customer may certainly be wrong, in business we all know that the customer is supposed to always be right. By empowering someone to oversee such complaints and record it in your CRM application, you can distance the service provider from the client and provide more objective solutions.
The key to good customer service, in any industry is not winning a battle but winning the war, especially in a competitive business environment.
For the serive provider, typically what is at stake when it comes to customer relations is time spent for services provided. Therefore, service providers need to determine how much time they can afford in the course of a month or year to expend for the sake of maintianing ongoing relationships.