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Building Business Around Customers: What you Want in CRM Software
Image Credit  Mark Crossfield Creative Commons license

Building Business Around Customers: What you Want in CRM Software

The main objective to using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is simple: With the right CRM app, you can more easily build your business around your customers. With CRM, you are looking to create and maintain a cycle of sales, service, support, and quality that is just as beneficial to your customers as it is to you.This is made possible through a number of benefits:

Task Tracking

The right CRM will help you not only look at what your customers are doing, how they're responding to your products and services, it will let you know how efficiently you're running your business from the inside. Task tracking lets you keep track of deadlines, ship dates and so on, so that you can keep an efficient workflow.

More Selling Opportunities

The more information you get on your customers, the more opportunities you're going to have to sell. For instance, one type of tracking data that more businesses are following is physical location. When you know that most of your customers go to the local Gold's Gym to work out, then you have a whole new realm of marketing ideas to explore.

Saving Money

When you use good CRM software, you can make a lot of dramatic changes to how you budget your marketing and various projects. Consider how easy it will be to know where to put your advertising dollars when you know exactly what your customers are watching on television. Consider how easy it will be to know which new products aren't worth the effort when you know exactly what your customers are looking for and exactly what they never spend money on.

Instant Access

Being able to look at your KPI at a moment's notice is a tremendous advantage.

Putting Data to Work

Something many entrepreneurs neglect: actually putting the data to use.

CRM is just a means of gathering information. Putting that information into play, making decisions based around that data is down to the business gathering it.

The end goal is to increase customer satisfaction and retention. A man who knows that his girlfriend loves Italian food but always insists on Chinese may eventually find himself single. Likewise, a business that knows its customers but never adjusts what they do according to their customers' desires is going to lose those customers to the competition.

Selecting CRM Software

So, what makes for a good CRM app? There are a number of factors to look at, including the following:

Good Support

This is incredibly important. There's great software out there that has been pretty well abandoned by its developers and thus rendered more or less useless. Without great support, you don't get regular updates, you don't get help if you're having trouble with the software, and bugs don't get fixed. Look for current and well-supported CRM apps.

Stability

Constant crashes and more bugs than an anthill are a bad recipe for customer satisfaction. If you want your customers to be able to rely on you, then you need to be able to rely on your software.

Mobile Capability

The modern office is not in the corner of the building, it's on the go. Even if you do have an actual desk that you like to sit at in order to get most of your work done, we tend to do a lot of our work at lunch, at coffee shops, at home, on the bus and in bed. If your CRM does not have great mobile capabilities, then you're going to be limiting yourself from working with it anywhere except at your desktop computer.

Integration

Integration is very important, both cloud integration, and integration with complementary software. You're looking for software that uses the cloud in order to keep everyone and everything in sync. Continuous data synchronization is essential when looking to get the most out of your company’s data. By synchronising your CRM system with your accounting system, you can get a 360 degree view of each and every customer. It is important you look for good integration in your CRM app.

Scalability

Consider long term needs for your data strategy. Your CRM software works great now, but will it work so well when you have ten times as many customers? Will it work so well when your annual income doubles? Look for an app that scales, that you can keep using as you grow. You don't want to have to spend your boom months learning new software.

Simply put, you can't deliver what your customers want without keeping track of what they want. Great CRM software lets you do just that.

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Lynsey Bowen

Lynsey Bowen

Lynsey Bowen is a freelance branding and marketing consultant, currently working with ConnectMyApps.

She has worked within marketing departments of various companies all over Europe. Her expertise extends to areas that include internet marketing, SEO, web and graphic design.

Read more from Lynsey

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