CRM software – a lifesaver!

I am sure that Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) does not sound a very interesting topic to read about however please bear with me because a CRM package can really make running your business so much easier… and in a crisis, more of which later, it can really save the day.

What is CRM software?

If you do an Internet search for “CRM software” you will get lots of information about all sorts of complex applications that seem to have little relevance to you and your business. These descriptions can sound very corporate and not very grounded in the day to day reality of running a small business!

That’s fine – you may never use the vast majority of applications available – in the same way as I have a washing machine that will do all sorts of complicated wash cycles and I only ever use two. Just don’t let this put you off because even using the basics can be a real help to your business.

• Fundamentally CRM software simply enables you to save all the information relating to each individual customer in one place. So you can go to that customer’s file and see their name, address, multiple contact details, make notes on calls – and this is the really useful bit – save emails to their record. (If you’ve ever spent ages searching for a specific email from / to a customer you will know how helpful that can be).

• You can then go on and add tasks, either attached to a specific customer or simply more general ones for yourself – and get emails sent to you every day detailing all the tasks for that day.

• As you get more used to using the software you can add tags to classify contacts, search and produce lists relating to these tags, export data and integrate with other software packages e.g. emailing and accounting software… or you can do none of these and still get real benefits from the basic functionality.

• … and of course you can do all this online in “the cloud” so wherever you are you (and everyone in your team) have access to everything you need to be able to run your business.

One final point is that although you can find lots packages that offer free access online it is always worth going for the first “paid for” option as free software often has lots of irritating restrictions.

… the “lifesaver” bit

A couple of weeks ago I had a software crash and my files where all my emails were saved corrupted. Not a problem you might think as you can restore corrupt files however the software to restore the emails also corrupted and over the course of a couple of hours I watched as my software and all my data slowly expired in front of me. Every email I had ever received or sent disappeared and was irretrievable.

Was I stressed? Yes – but not excessively.

Did it effect my business? No.

Because all my emails are saved and accessible in my CRM package.

… thank goodness!

This entry was posted in Networking Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.