An effective contact management or customer relationship system (CRM) is a core part of most modern businesses. As a business grows, to ensure effectiveness and efficiency it is vital that a move from traditional paper-based records or an ineffective spreadsheet system is made. This can help ensure that information is up-to-date and accurate and that staff can access central records for consistency.
To deliver a quality service to customers and prospects some of the following could prove useful within a CRM system.
- Being able to find contact data quickly –
Even if the customer initiates an unexpected telephone call, you need to maintain an air of efficiency by locating details quickly. This will prompt you as to who is calling, from which company and provides notes from previous conversations!
- Email/SMS marketing –
Save time and ensure blanket coverage by sending emails or SMS messages direct from contact information. This can be one document such as a newsletter which is sent to selected mailing lists in your database by the press of a button, or personal messages sent to individual customers.
- Keep clear records –
If you want to give a professional service, you cannot reply on a messy collection of scribbled notes plus a random collections of Post-Its, held in different places or even by a number of different people! Consistency and ease of access have to be the order of the day. A computer based system can help store emails, notes from telephone calls, letters, meetings diaried etc and recall them at the touch of a button.
- Being able to target your marketing-
Marketing is now probably more vital than ever before, but it can be expensive in terms of both time and money. Ensure that all marketing and sales activities are as targeted as possible, by mailing specific sectors from your database.
Set-up your own direct mail campaigns to promote special offers, exhibitions, vouchers, or other marketing events. Remember, you need a critical mass of people hear about your offers, to help ensure marketing initiatives succeed!
- Set up your task lists –
Start each day with a clear list of things to be achieved and ensure that every promise to ring a client by a certain day is honoured. Ensure you never forget that follow up call or mislay contact details again! An effective CRM system should have this integrated, you could then go direct to the contact record and update it.
- Consistent records –
Anyone from your business who speaks to customers should be able to access customer records. People are busy and wish to achieve their outcome in a single call where possible, so help them to achieve this. All relevant staff involved in service delivery need to know of the promises or deals made, so they can ensure sucessful, timely delivery
I hope that this will give an insight into what simple contact management or CRM software can help your business acheive.
This is only a small part of what effective software can do, many systems also include workflow charts, and more complex operations.