Customer relationship softwareSolutions Work
Customer relationship softwareis a relatively new approach to an age old issue that of cultivating and maintaining customer loyalty and assuring that each customer is followed throughout the sales process. The old ways were paper and pen, calendar and address book, sometimes these were lost and rarely they were shared even within a company. Invoices tracked customers but often the customer was forgotten after their account was paid and the item delivered. Long term relationships in businesses with thousands of customers were difficult to maintain consistently throughout a company.
The solution was customer relationship software which tracks every single contact with customers starting with sales campaigns and marketing initiatives and ending with follow up sales letters, greeting cards or even flyers or emails notifying those customers of upcoming sales or discounts.
Customer relationship softwarealso known as CRM doesn’t stop with those critical features though. This software can help automate sales campaigns, email reminders, and initiate contact with former customers on a regular basis. A full featured CRM might also feature online and offline sales tracking and analysis forecast sales given enough data and even identifies consumer trends and response rates to individual campaigns.
In order to do this customer relationship software must have a central database where all shared information is stored and then correlated. There are several means to do this but one of the simplest and most cost effective for small businesses as well as larger may be the web based approach to CRM software. Web based customer relationship software requires only a single copy of the software be installed on a server. The web based solution avoids having to install software on each employee’s computer and then update it as necessary. This can be a more economic solution to deploying new software across multiple machines and additionally if the server is accessible through the internet, then it can be accessed by employees travelling or working from home remotely. No longer is the employee out of the office also out of touch, not with the addition of web based CRM software.
Sometimes the cost of software deployment is seen not in the cost of the license but the necessary expense of an IT department to install, configure and then continually update customer relationship software copies on each machine in the company. Small businesses can get around this by using a web based or even cloud hosted CRM which can be accessed anywhere and is securely hosted on a remote server. Generally, hosting services for this software for small businesses will charge on a per seat or per use basis. The downside to remotely hosted cloud software is that if a single interface is used for multiple businesses then the interface may not be as tailored to the company’s needs.
However a local server can run customer relationship software and not require dedicated IT staff in a very small businesses with limited employees. Open source CRM software solutions such as SugarCRM are affordable, can be expanded and configured and have many options for installation. CRM is the wave of the future and when used correctly can help boost sales and retain customers while still being affordable.
CRMLogic the home of SugarCRM and RhoLogic mobile Excellence in CRM business processes