#30DayBlog – Day 12 – Let’s look back

So far over the course of this blog I’ve written on many different subjects, so today I though I would look back and reflect on some of them.

Day One started with me writing about the Hillsborough Disaster and the findings of the independent police report. This is still in the headlines today, especially with the recent resignation of the police commissioner at the time.

Day Six saw me sharing with you some other blogs that I like to read. Some are business related, others are of more of a personal interest. I’m still reading these blogs, although not as often as I would like as I just don’t seem to have the time!

Day Nine and I blogged about research. Although I wasn’t supposed to post I did, but research was done before posting.  I have to do quite a bit of research within the course of my work so this was quite an enjoyable blog to write.

The final blog that I would like to share with you today is Day Ten. This explained a bit more about my business and how it primarily offers custom software development, in particular database development to our customers.

These are of course just a selection of my blogs, please feel free to follow my blog by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button at the top of the page or why not add a comment to one of my posts?

#30DayBlog – Day 10 – Software Development, it’s what we do.

Some of what we do

Whenever you go to a networking event you always get asked ‘What do you do?’. Some you have to get up and do a 30-60 elevator pitch, at others you just mingle with other attendees and have conversations about your businesses and other aspects of your lives. This is all part of building the relationship and trust with these people.

But what do we do?

Here at Convallis Software we are primarily a software development company. We help businesses become more efficient through the effective use of IT. We specialise in online and offline custom database solutions, tailoring software to the customer needs. These sorts of projects can be time-consuming and expensive, but think about the investment in terms that no-one else will have the same software as you, and you are using something that will help your business become more efficient, effectively saving you money and increasing profit in the long term.

Other aspects of the business include IT Consultancy, advising customers and helping them find a solution to their issues. We also offer our own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, ConvallisCRM, which provides contact management, products and sales automation features plus much more. This is used quite often as a basis for custom software development as it can help keep down the price of a tailored solution for a customer.

The final things that we offer are various web solutions including affordable website packages, including e-commerce and also custom web development. We help design, set up and host your website and then there is an easy to use content managed system to allow you to update your website whenever you want to at no extra cost.

I hope that this gives you an idea of what we do, and if you want to find out more why not take a look at our website for a more comprehensive view.

CRM – the perplexing question

The people ask - What is CRM?

What is CRM?

There are many times when we are out and about that we’re asked what CRM is, to which we normally reply that Customer Relationship Management is the process of recording who your customers are and what communication you may have had with them. A common response to this from a small business person is a perplexed expression together with a comment along the lines of that not being relevant to their business.

To some extent that business person is right, the full breadth of how CRM can help may not be relevant, but it quite often is and whats more is normally already being practiced by them. We all need some means of recording who our customers and prospective customers are, even if its just the name, address, email and phone number gleaned from a business card. This information will be kept in a database of some sort, whether that is in Outlook, or as a list in Word or Excel, or perhaps a shoe box containing business cards. That is the core of any CRM system and so from that point of view every business no matter how large or small is already engaged in the process.

What a more advanced CRM process can do is take that core information and build upon it, perhaps recording details of communcations and quotes/orders that may have been created. Over time as more data is added questions can start to be asked that can be answered by querying the database. Questions such as when was the last time we communicated with our customers? Who haven’t we communicated with in the last 6 months? Who have we quoted to sell Product A to in the past 6 months? Or perhaps 12 months ago? Can all potentially be answered by querying the data.

All of these questions and others like them may or may not be relevant to a given business depending upon their circumstances. But asking them can have a dramatic impact on how a business markets itself, because the results can be used to create lists which target just those contacts. This means instead of taking a scatter gun approach to marketing (i.e. targetting all contacts) your business can target a specific marketing campaign at specific contacts. This has the potential to save the business a lot of money in both printing and postal costs for any given direct mail campaign. But if the CRM includes the ability to send mass emails, perhaps with a built in system or by outputting a list which is then imported into a web based service further savings are possible.

Also if the right question was asked and the right message communicated this should result in a higher percentage of positive outcomes to that campaign. That means that not only can the business save money by targetting a particular message to a subset of customers but it may well result in a better response.

So a properly implemented CRM process should result in the CRM not only saving the business money, but also, with intelligent use of the data, making it as well. This is on top of other benefits such as providing customers with a better customer service experience.