Customer relationship management (CRM) covers methods and technologies used by companies to manage their relationships with clients.
Information stored on existing customers (and potential customers) is analysed and used to this end. Automated CRM processes are often used to generate automatic personalised marketing based on the customer information stored in the system.
Which is the best CRM package for me?
There’s no one size fits all with CRM. It all depends on your company, its products and requirements. Some of the best CRM software packages enable customer service representatives to review the account information of each client or customer (their needs wants and spending patterns) when they are talking to them. Their telephone number will identify them.
Your company requirements that should determine the package you purchase. There may be cheaper options on the market but if they don’t meet your needs it’s false economics.
What you need to ask yourself is:
• What aspect of customer relations are we looking to address?
• Will the CRM software integrate with all the platforms we are currently using? Having to re-enter data will cost too much time and ultimately money.
• What functions do I actually need? There’s no point in buying expensive software with 101 options if you are not going to use them.
• Has the software been used by a company with a database of similar size to mine before? Too small a capacity and it may crash!
Why does some newly installed CRM software fail?
The software could be to blame but more than likely it will be down to human error. Ensure that the software you buy specifically meets your needs or it may not work.
Ensure you don’t buy until you determine what you really need. Have very specific, well-defined objectives that you want and need the CRM solution to address.
Make sure the new programme has management support and effective training so all levels of personnel will embrace the new system and realise how it can deliver business goals.
I'm a small sized (or medium sized) business. What are my options?
A number of options are available to download or purchase online. Some examples from the lower end of the price spectrum follow.
• LivePerson offers two different versions, Pro and Enterprise, that provide customised live chat, email and a variety of interactive forms for customer relations. The company also provides a wide range of services, including online marketing, case studies, and software for online shopping cart.
• LiveHelper provides pretty much the same with some data assessment features.
• GroopZ offers customer routing software together with an efficient filing system. It also supports pre- and post-service questions for all customers.
• SupportWizard offers FAQs, live chat and search engines which can be bought, leased or let. An “escalation alert” can set up for when customer service goes beyond the norm while e-mail, live chat and telephone information can all be integrated into one database.
• BoldChat offers free CRM software for online customer service chat that you can use for a limited time, or customised versions which are for sale. Both offer live customer service chat.
• CSLive has live chat, email, as well as an extensive tracking and filing system.
Costs and benefits
Cost really depends on your requirements and the complexity of the system you need. There’s also the decision to take of whether to rent or buy a system outright. Renting will allow you to try before you buy and although the initial outlay may be expensive it pay for it self before long.
The benefits of CRM if used properly far outweigh the costs. If you want your business to grow and develop it’s a necessary requirement. It’s as simple as that.
LivePerson - http://www.liveperson.com
LiveHelper - http://www.livehelper.com
GroopZ - http://www.groopz.com
SupportWizard - http://www.supportwizard.com
BoldChat - http://www.boldchat.com
CSLive - http://www.cslive.com
Check out 12ahead, our brand new platform
covering the latest in cutting-edge digital marketing and creative technology from around the globe.
12ahead identifies emerging trends and helps
you to understand how they can apply to modern-day companies.
We believe 12ahead can put you and your
business 12 months ahead of the competition. Sign up for a free trial today.