Decades ago marketing executives recognized the power of data over intuition in creating programs and processes aimed at attracting and retaining customers. The quest for ever better information, broader statistical insight and “instantaneous” feed-back has only accelerated over the years. Customer (or Client) Relationship Management systems received a huge boost in their ability to collect information about customer behavior, preferences and desires with the advent of the internet. But, as many of us know from painful experience, more data does not necessarily make for easier or better decisions. Data must be transformed into information.
The best CRM systems have grown from their birth as primarily a marketing or sales tool to now coordinate the customer facing activities of Customer Support, Accounting, Operations and R&D, along with Sales and Marketing, to make the most of the customer data collected. There are a number of vendors offering systems which can be implemented as programs running on either company computer hardware, within a “proprietary cloud” managed by the software vendor, within a “general purpose cloud” supplied by one of the purveyors of massive server farms, or as a service delivered across the generic internet.
The balance of control vs flexibility has been moving from owning your own program running on your company hardware to tapping the expertise and cost effective benefits offered by online CRM systems. Fundamental in this shift is the has steady improvement in reliability and security of internet based CRM while the potential vulnerability of in-house programs previously thought to be “inviolable” has been exposed. With comparable security and reliability, the flexibility, cost benefits and access to state-of-the-art data collection and analysis tools makes an online CRM system the easy choice for all but the largest or most specialized organizations.
A good SMB CRM system can be an incredibly valuable asset for your business. As more businesses recognize this value, the amount of SMB CRM vendors is expanding quickly. Navigating the pricing plans, features, and service terms of all these can be a decision-making nightmare. more
One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to integrate your CRM and contact center software. Benefits of doing this include:Improved customer satisfaction through more personalized contacts, Better conversions on lead, and Increased employee productivity. more
Did you know that 67% of online consumers have used social media for customer service purposes?Unfortunately, many businesses ignore social mentions because they don’t know how to handle them appropriately. This is a problem because managing and responding to these mentions can make or break your brand. more
This whitepaper provides a guideline for selecting the right customer portal solution for your CRM by following a three-stage process. By comparing in-house and third party SaaS products, we examine present business and technical portal requirements, which are then mapped against the upfront and hidden costs for development and future scalability needs. more