Report sheds positive light on CRM sector and growing need for Strong Customer Relationships

A new report from the US has indicated that CRM is becoming more and more popular, with the industry expected to reach around $28.8bn by 2018, with more and more enterprise-level focus on customer-centric business operations. A variety of factors has been contributing to the ongoing growth of the industry.  Some of the main sources cited are the different social media platforms such as user forums, web communities and the various social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Essentially, there is a whole new world to explore in terms of handling customer relationships.  As well as providing a medium for exchanging messages and files, social provides customers with an ideal medium on which to voice their opinion about a company.  Cloud based SaaS systems are another positive reason noted as being behind the growth.  On-demand cloud based software allows enterprises to increasingly opt for hybrid solutions, allowing them to combine the internet-based capabilities with their own in-house deployments.  Cloud based technology has led to a decrease in costs and a faster and easier implementation.  It also means a decrease in upfront capital expenditure. On-premise CRM systems currently represent the largest product segment in the market overall, according to the report, with SaaS software demonstrating the fastest growth.  Currently, the United States remains the largest regional market but that tends to be the case with a lot of technological advancement.  More industries have also been keen to adopt the technology with academia, healthcare, energy and utilities all beginning to increase their use of the software. Source: PR Web Globally the business need and acceptance of CRM solutions is growing and with Solutions like MyCRM hosted which is a month by month managed service with no long term contracts smaller and mid-sized firms are looking for an easy introduction in to managing at least part of their business process and customer support. There are many solutions available and MyCRM selected Microsoft Dynamics as its core platform because of its ability to be flexible stable and fit for all business needs from 1 employee to many thousands. To get a trail of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can register with MyCRM here http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/demorequest.aspx To gain access to product extensions from the MyCRM team please register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/Account/Register.aspx About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for you Microsoft CRM Solution:- You can get access to arrange of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.  

Microsoft complete switch on of Dynamics CRM 2013 - Online

Microsoft has now completed its staggered rollout of the cloud-enabled CRM management suite, keeping to the release timetable that it first released back in July.  Dynamics CRM 2013 is now fully available worldwide.  As well as the software itself, it is now possible for users to access the accompanying applications on their tablet devices and make use of the cloud.  The relevant smart-phone apps will also be released this month. Simon Hutson, who represents the Microsoft Dynamics Sales team, revealed in a new blog-post that Dynamics CRM 2013 "is now live in our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] data-centers. (APAC [Asia-Pacific] data-centers went live last week, and the Americas will go live later this week.)" Overall, it is believed that the software is now available in 42 different global markets.  The on-premises and partner-hosted deployments will become available on October 31st. Bob Stutz, the corporate vice president for the project, said that it "delivers on this promise of customer centricity by bringing together Microsoft technologies in a way that helps businesses and organizations better engage and nurture their customers." A key aspect of the software is the tighter integration with the Yammer enterprise social networking platform that functions alongside communications to both Lync and Skype. The software has already announced a number of mobile-friendly benefits to the software that includes configurable templates for specific industries.  The software has been described as a "new people-first design" that focuses specifically on customer information and interactions.  New guided workflows are also noted as being perfect for increasing win rates and shorter sales cycles. Source: E-Week To get a trail of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can register with MyCRM here http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/demorequest.aspx To gain access to product extensions from the MyCRM team please register here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/Account/Register.aspx About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for you Microsoft CRM Solution:- You can get access to arrange of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.  

More to good CRM than just software!

CRM software has been developed to a high standard over the years and it is mostly considered to be very efficient. However, according to enterpriseAPPStoday, this might not be enough to make sure that there is a good customer experience.   The article highlights that only 65 of the Fortune 500 companies in the US in 1955 have survived to the present day, demonstrating the importance of being able to adapt quickly to changes in the market and ensuring that their service is still relevant to their customers.   The use of Customer Relationship Management software has helped companies of all shapes and sizes to adapt to the needs of their customers, but CRM also needs to take into consideration marketing and customer service as well as any issues within the workforce.  Research has shown that large numbers of companies do not have an engaged workforce, yet this is essential for a good customer experience.   Research house Ovum, has highlighted software such as Microsoft Dynamics as one of the market leaders in CRM software, but using this is just one step towards meeting client needs.  Ovum has recommended that customers look at adapting their approach each year to ensure that they keep pace with changes in the market.  Companies need to look at leadership, workforce engagement, innovation, collaboration and process integration among other things in order to keep the service strong and fresh.  This is in addition to any CRM software being used.   However, CRM software is still highly relevant to our business climate.  As a central registry of customer information it is essential to the functioning of any business.         There are many stories of good and bad implementations of CRM; from where the software ends up being just a glorified address and contact book, to the hugely successful implementations where the solution is in every touch point in the business.   But it is clearly pointed out in this article that CRM implementation and good CRM is more than just adapting some software.  In fact it is about every person in the organisation understanding the custom vision and process i.e. being engaged.   MyCRM as a managed solution provider has had years of experience of advising and helping organisations benefit and improve customer engagement. We can provide not only the software but additional tools and marketing knowledge to help organisations grow and expand.   Read the full article here: http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/crm/crm-software-good-but-not-enough.html About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity. We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for you Microsoft CRM Solution:- http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eNumber.aspx Extend your Microsoft CRM system with automated numbering for individual entities and text updates. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx  The all-new eSurvey solution for Microsoft Dynamics CRM extends the marketing capability of Microsoft CRM even further, by delivering a fully integrated customer survey tool.

Mobiles: a perfect addition to a Microsoft CRM strategy

A new piece in Business 2 Community has highlighted the importance of mobile devices in implementing an effective CRM strategy.  What details, though, should you include as part of the mobile application?  What makes an app valuable and useful? Complete insight into planning Whenever you're carrying out the work of actually implementing your customer relationship management strategy, one of the most important things to be able to access is the original planning documentation.  How many customers or leads are you planning to communicate with?  How are we going to engage with them?  What topics do we think should be discussed?  Having access to the original planning documents on your mobile device will mean that you can stick to the agenda wherever you are. Unique access to the system itself Ideally, anyone working with CRM software should look to be able to make decisions whilst out on the road.  Ideally, this means that the mobile device should be able to access almost all of the same features that the main software does.  The app should be able to access information on customer data, potential sales opportunities and any tenders that are still in play.  Any other relevant information should also be accessible. Individual profile access There are a variety of different roles involved in the CRM process, with everyone from project managers to IT technicians playing their part.  Ideally, then, you should be looking to have a different login 'area' for each user that contains all of the data relevant to their specific role.  This can be a real time and money saver. Source: Business 2 Community This is an interesting article and quite timely as the new release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 RTM has had definite consideration given to the new way or mobile way of working.  Since the release of the first smart phones and tablets new work patterns have emerged and consumption of data from business and social systems has emerged.  With its brand new fluid way of working Microsoft Dynamics is even easier to use on a range of devices, and Microsoft have gone a step further with apps for both the iPad and Windows 8 Tablets. MyCRM http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com is a managed service provider of Microsoft CRM and can help deliver key extended functionality through a range of applications from its download centre  About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eNumber.aspx Extend you Microsoft CRM system we automated numbering for individual entities and text updates.  http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ePDF.aspx Our record to PDF solution enables increased productivity directly in CRM by allowing an end user to quickly send a Quote or Order or even an invoice by email to the end customer in just a few clicks. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

6 Questions for CRM that can amplify your Brand and Customer satisfaction.

An interesting new piece in The Drum today (Simon Brace - The Real Adventure www.realadventure.co.uk) has highlighted some of the key questions that any company should ask before they engage in a customer relationship management strategy.   They are well worth exploring further and provide some real food for thought. From a CRM point of view in helping smaller businesses achieve success with CRM and social awareness I have added additional thoughts from my own experience.   Is there a high consumer need for information regarding the product? One key to increasing customer engagement (and therefore requiring a CRM system) is whether the brand or the sector you work in represents areas in which support and information is always needed.  To use an example, parenting represents the perfect area for CRM. There is a never-ending supply of first-time parents, eager to build relationships with brands that satisfy their need for both information and relevant products. But CRM is more that an organisation’s database or software component - it is a strategy that is developed over time to support your customers and their needs with the right information about your product. This can relate to many business sectors from energy to financial solutions - or as the article suggest, parents, as babies don’t come with instructions!   Are you in a position to provide answers to customers? Again, this point falls into the idea of genuinely helping your customers out.  It does not have to be based around problem-solving. However, one good example is food companies that build relationships with customers by providing great recipe ideas or by being open to accepting future product ideas.  Delia's online cookery school on Waitrose TV is a great example. To take another example Energy companies now actively use Facebook and Twitter to promote energy saving ideas so social interaction is now more important than ever.  Some organisations even go further - with product support and dedicated customer service channels being available through social media.   Do you provide a product that people can really feel passionately about? Another key to relationship building with customers is by creating a product that they will want to build relationships around.  For instance, if you are a music store, then CRM could represent a great investment. Musicians really care about their instruments and will likely welcome assistance in everything from tutorials to relevant promotions.  Again, a real sense of passion means that customers will want to engage with the brand.  Brand awareness and brand loyalty are gained by a number of key factors including “Great Quality of Product”, “Great Customer Care and Interaction” and “Great Customer / Product Awareness” and in a future post I’ll look at some of these areas that can easily help small to medium businesses embrace CRM strategy without breaking the bank.   Does your brand possess the ‘cool factor’? We are all looking for the next cool thing, but remember what is cool and funky to one is not always representable for all, so it is paramount that as a product provider your organization is in tune with what your customer wants and likes.  A good example of this would be when Apple released the iPhone and now at the iPhone 5 version customers still come back for more as it still has a cool factor.  This can be emulated across many different products and brands by many different manufacture and service providers.  See the top 100 brands here: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2013/top-100-list-view.aspx. From this list I’ve personally interacted with 23 of the brands either through product purchase or support.   Do you support a cause? Many of the brands or organizations mentioned above have set causes to support and sponsorship deals in place that help with brand awareness. Organizations like SKY have several renewable projects in place like the “Rainforest Rescue” https://rainforestrescue.sky.com/. But does this work for small organizations that want to support a cause? All organizations and many businesses do support local or national charities and there are several ways of doing so (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/businesses/giving/sponsorship.htm), but aligning your business or brand to a cause or a sponsorship deal needs to be fully thought through - and this comes back to understanding you customer and what their expectations of your brand might be. Here at MyCRM we opt to support local causes https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151627582429690&set=pb.367480604689.-2207520000.1381487296.&type=3&theater like our sponsorship of a local under 15 football team. So does this help with a CRM strategy? Well if done correctly then this can help with awareness of your business supporting a good cause.   What’s your consumer worth? Is that Consumer or Customer? I’d personally like to say Customer but this is a very good question and brings the closing comments back to business. When I first ventured into a sales environment I very quickly worked out that existing and loyal customers had significant value to the business I was working for, and great product and customer service will help with customer loyalty. As mentioned in the article, organizations look to provide additional services to loyal customers and, for example, most of the phone networks are very good at this.    Source: The Drum   About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects. http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eWorkflow.aspx  Our extended workflow solution set enables organisation to increase productivity through the use of custom workflows. We also offer through our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com    

Microsoft begins the roll out of CRM Online 2013

Tech giant Microsoft has begun the roll out of the much anticipated next release of Dynamics CRM to its own CRM Online platform, with trials now being available for partners and customers, and with upgrades happening over the next quarter. It is planning to deliver its Windows 8/iPad client compliments for the service during the next few weeks, along with on premise and partner hosted releases of the software. The staged rollout for Dynamics CRM Online 2013, which has been codenamed "Orion", and first went live last week in the datacentres in the Asia Pacific region.  On or after October 7, it is being put live in the UK.  Finally, it will go live in the Americas within the next week or so. The on premise compliment of the CRM 2013 software is not yet available as (GA) general release, with a blog post on the Microsoft site indicating that it will come later this month.  The full release is anticipate for the end of October and as a managed service provider MyCRM are working to not only deliver this new release but up lift and make fully compatible its full product extension range for CRM. The iPad and Windows 8 companion apps have not yet been released with information indicating that they will become available around the same time as the on premise version.  Microsoft recently released a substantial 19-page "Release Preview Guide" for the upcoming stream of releases based around customer relationship management which can be viewed here http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/F/1/7F10F758-0846-4210-B9F4-6AF79A96CA76/Release_Preview_Guide_September_2013.pdf Following on from this major release of the software, Microsoft's team are also planning to deliver a further two updates, named "Leo" and then "Vega", with the former expected to drop support for Classic Forms and then add support for both Android smartphones and iPhones.   Article Source: http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-begins-rolling-out-crm-online-2013-7000021628/ With the growing use of online services in business and the demand for Cost affective fully managed offering MyCRM will be releasing its role out strategy from December 2013 and will start to upgrade customers from February 2014. About MyCRM MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off the shelf extensions like email marketing with eCampaign http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx and location awareness with Bing Maps http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx which can help reduce the cost of implementation greatly by using plug-in solutions. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com

Some common causes of CRM Data Duplication

Anyone looking to improve the way in which they utilise their CRM systems will know the issues that can arise when data is duplicated as a result of poor system management or software error.  Usefully, though, a new piece on CIO.com has focused on the different ways in which this issue occurs and what to look out for: Often, humans inputting data will simply not double check the existing records before adding in new potential leads, accounts or contacts.  Whilst this is obviously something that should be discouraged at a basic level, (it is poor administration!), it remains a major reason for duplication. On some occasions, data import tools may not be successful in identifying duplication before they carry out their tasks. Although some of the software does use a "potential duplicate" flag. Often, integration with other outside sources such as website registration forms, partner portals and message brokers will mean that other applications could end up not querying the CRM data before it inserts additions to the existing records. The other main existing cause is again an administrative one, with errors and software bugs typically causing the existing software to lead to thousands of duplications being created. The article correctly highlights the fact that at around 2% duplication, there is very little to actually worry about, as long as you have effective tools in place that will seek out the duplication and correct it.  However, if the figure goes beyond 5% then users will begin to complain and you will run the risk of losing existing customers. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM you have the advantage of duplication rules and the ability to merge duplicated records if they exist, but the key factor is to make sure that end users are aware of search and find capability that is easy to use, products from MyCRM like eView http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eView.aspx can and will enhance customer search capability giving the end user a quick 360 degree view of a customer record and activity. Source: CIO.com To find out more about how MyCRM can help you manage your customer interaction then please visit our web site at www.mycrmgroup.com

Forbes analyse CRM Implementations

As one of the most vital aspects for running any business, customer relationship management is something that should be taken very seriously.  However, a new feature in Forbes has argued that the implementation of many CRM systems suffer from an incomplete vision and do not live up to their potential.  The article looks at several ways in which the process can become more complete. Firstly, it notes that the amount of information that is collected from customers should increase substantially.  Rather than just looking at an order history, CRM should involve building up a more in-depth customer profile, of the sort that marketing would normally use. Secondly, it highlights the value of comparing an individual customer’s behaviour to the norm.  This will mean that it is easy to see what is unique about each one and can then lead to more personalised service. The reach of CRM should also be taken more seriously.  Currently, CRM is largely limited to sales, but the piece argues that almost everyone within a company – including customer service staff, repair technicians and even receptionists – should be able to access a view of the customer from CRM.  The expansion of the customer profile should be expanded using a combination of real-time data, big data and data from the internet.  Though not all of this information will be useful for a long-time, some of it may be able to become part of the permanent record. Finally, the article notes the importance of CRM apps being easily accessible on mobile devices.  According to the piece, “the ability to rapidly and affordably create custom mobile apps for each audience of the broader vision of CRM will become a differentiator”. What is not evident or highlighted as a major concern is the selection of the service partner, who can help enable the implementation of CRM for success.  It is key when addressing these type of issues to not lead the implementation of CRM as a technology project but as a process definition that leads to the adoption of a custom centric organisation. Most of the points highlighted in the full article are common and can occur in the implementation of a CRM systems or at later stages of acceptance, but the ability of the provider to help an organisation deliver a good CRM methodology and strategy and ongoing support for their business and for customer success is paramount. Working with a provider like MyCRM helps not only with the implementation of great technology using Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but the team can offer advice and knowhow to help with Sales, Marketing, Customer service and Support.  MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off the shelf extensions like email marketing with eCampaign http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx and location awareness with Bing Maps http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx which can help reduce the cost of implementation greatly by using plug-in solutions. To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com To read more on the article at Forbes see here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2013/09/30/why-your-crm-implementation-is-quietly-failing/ To see why our customers like working with MyCRM http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx  

eMap the next generation of CRM Mapping version 1.1.3 has been released

After many months of work and some great customer feedback from all of our customers using eMap for CRM 2011 we now have a new release with a range of new functionality which extends data visualisation and manipulation even further in the Microsoft CRM interface.  The new functionality includes 1.       Pivot Data through relationships 2.       View Selector at entity layer 3.       Default Pan and Zoom   Pivot Data and Pivot Rules though data relationships One of the great new features with eMap is the ability to pivot related data from a single pin, this means you can now select a single Account pin and show related data on the map for that account based on a configurable rule. Rules are created in the settings and can be used on different layers   You can create a rule that maps a relationship to the data that is requested for the relationship to display As an example you can see below the data for the Isle of Wight, this is where MyCRM is based and in the first screen shot you can see all related data    Now by switching the pivot view on you only see related data for the Account Record based on the rule    This is a very powerful option as it enable end users to identify single customers with related data and work directly with those records selected. View Selector at entity layer Another of the great new features for this release of eMap is the ability to switch on the view selector at the layer level, which gives end users the ability to quickly switch data views    By switching this setting on end users have access to system and personnel views that have been created on the CRM system for the data type.       This extend further the ability to visualize CRM data on a map interface and work directly with different view sets.  Default Pan and Zoom   The final new feature in this release of eMap is the ability to set the default pan and zoom when loading a Map in CRM   The map centre can be set to “All Pins” or “Form Entity”. “All Pins” is the current default behaviour and zooms and pans the map to fit all available pins.  New settings “Form Entity” only works on Form maps, and will set the centre of the map to be the location of the form entity. When this option is used, a default zoom level can also be set.    To get access to the latest version of eMap either view setting in the MyCRM licence manager where eMap is install or head to our application download centre to get a 14 day trial http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx   About MyCRM MyCRM Limited is a UK based global seller of ISV extensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.  We provide a number of extension products via our Application Download Centre and also offer a fully managed service for CRM to organisation across the UK and EMEA. Trading since 2009 MyCRM Limited has seen continued growth year and year with profits at an average of 28% of revenue. Please contact Alistair Dickinson for any clarification or further information Alistair@mycrmgroup.com