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 free apps as Microsoft roll out CRM smartphone apps

Microsoft has revealed that they will be rolling out the companion smart-phone apps to their Dynamics CRM system within the next 30 days.  The apps will be compatible with the iPhone, Android and Windows handsets. Earlier this month, the company released the companion apps for tablet devices to a reasonably good reception and many users are now keen to get their hands on the mobile versions as well. Like their bigger tablet brothers, the mobile Dynamic CRM apps will be completely free. Interestingly, the company also announced on October 21st that they would be partnering with InsideView Inc to integrate that company's Social Insights offering directly into the Microsoft CRM Online and on-premises releases.  The new social marketing integration will populate Microsoft's CRM system with genuine real-time information from around 30,000 sources, and will be available at no extra cost to the Dynamics CRM Online customers based in the US (if they possess professional licenses).  The global rollout for Social Insights Technology is expected to arrive later in 2014 according to executives at Microsoft. The Dynamics 2013 software, which was codenamed "Orion", was the first major update to Microsoft's CRM platform since their release in 2011.  It currently boasts integration with Yammer, Lync and Skype, and a touch-centric user interface with improved performance, in addition to several other updates.  The tablet and smart-phone addition Apps were promised at the time of the initial release date on October 8th. The new range of apps have been long awaited s this was one of the items required with CRM 2011 that never progressed well and was left to 3rd party suppliers. The great advantage of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is that the solution is full extendable and there are number of well know platform extenders including MyCRM that have a ranges of current products available for Microsoft CRM 2011 and Microsoft CRM 2013. Source: ZDnet 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.

Does socializing your business mean good CRM?

Good question really, and yes - there is a lot of hype about social CRM and Social Marketing. So with that I thought I’d add my views and thoughts.  There are a lot of questions to be answered and there is very little point trying to jump on a bandwagon if socialising your brand and business does not fit with your product or service, although there are very few products or services these days that are not available online.   So, what is CRM? Okay, let’s drop back to basics for a while and get a grasp on what CRM really means to your business and to your customers. So what is CRM? Well the one thing it is not is an expensive investment in software and computer equipment. CRM is the process methodology used in a business for Sales, Marketing and Support strategy to understand the approach you want to or will take when managing your customers.  CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics CRM supplied as a managed service by MyCRM (http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/) should be seen as a software application that can help your organisation achieve good processes to handle and track customer activities. A common mistake that is made (and this is the key reason a number of CRM projects fail) is that the emphasis is placed on the technology and that the software application will somehow manage your customers for you. So where should you begin? There are many methodologies and guides on the subjects as you can probably imagine. So step back and think of it like this: what do you want to achieve in the key areas of your business? Key areas are likely to be Sales, Marketing, Service and Support but take each one as an individual process.   Let’s take Sales: We all want more sales but giving some thought on how you can capture these will pay dividends. Firstly: what type of sales does your business do, and what I mean by that is, is your organisation solution selling or product selling? Solution Selling can be defined as having arranged an appointment and probably demonstrated a solution in use, then a proposal is written and a level of negotiation will take place before a deal is closed. So first step is to define that process, and then using CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics you can map the process through the several stages.  I will be writing a separate post on defining the sales process in Microsoft CRM. Product Selling can be more easily defined as “I want one of those”. This is where a customer has a need for a product, but the strategy here needs to be given thought on why they should buy it from you (i.e. what is better about the way you can sell product X?). That simplifies the type of selling a little, and thought should also be given to who the intended target are.  If your business model is B2C then consider the best way to fit your product into the target sector. If your business model is B2B then examine and understand the target business sector. Socialising your business for the sake of it (i.e. “Oh, we have a Facebook page”) is not really a strategy and thought needs to be given on how you can attract potential prospects to your organisation via popular social media sites and blogs.   Let’s Consider Marketing:- There are many ways to attract a prospects attention and depending on size of the organisation some or all of the list below may be in reach and used in a campaign: Social Media Marketing Search engine Marketing Email Marketing SMS marketing Hard Copy Print Media Hard Copy Print Direct Online Network Advertising TV Advertising Radio Advertising Web Site For the purpose of this post I’m not going to review each, but take a look at the social aspect and how to drive interest using these channels. The first port of call has to be your businesses web site, things to consider: Is the site current? Does it work correctly in all browsers? Does it represent the business and target audience that you need to attract?  Does the presentation of information work well on tablet PCs and mobiles? Is the content updated regularly? Is the Meta data correct? Can it be integrated into your CRM System easily? With the launch of such devices as the Microsoft Surface and the Apple iPad there has been a huge increase in mobile computing and the way we all consume information and access data, so consideration has to be given on how your organisation presents itself.   As more and more people access information on the go with these types of devices more businesses will have to adapt or potentially lose out to competitors that can deliver a good customer journey and access to the right information at the right time. When I started in business one thing that people would always say to me was “Cash is King!” But for good presence, awareness and marketing then “Content is King”. Once consideration has been given to presence then the next step is to consider the best approach in how to contact your prospects and customers and keep them informed of latest service updates and product updates. Email Marketing:- The most popular approach to contacting customers and individuals is by the tried and tested method of tracked email. Tracked email solutions, or email marketing solutions, enable an organisation to track who reads an email and what level of interest was shown - usually through interactions and web tracking. Email marketing solutions like the MyCRM eCampaign solution (http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx) has 2 key stages - the first being design of template and sending, and the second being the tracking and rating of activity. The second stage enables an organisation to prioritise the activity of sales and customer services through to prospects and customers that interact more. This approach is usually called smart selling. SMS Marketing:- This approach has also seen some popularity and is excellent to gain a response from an individual if an activity is happening within a 3 hour time frame.  A good example of this was when working with a Rugby club: The marketing team would send SMS messages to fans 3 hours before a game with special offers that were on in the bar or the restaurant. By doing this the revenue for the club pre-game increased by 40%. But sending an SMS about a special offer that is online is not likely to have the same impact, or the same call to action. Social Media Marketing:- In only a few years we have also seen the increase in the use of social networks, and although Microsoft CRM does not connect up to Facebook or Twitter natively there are options available.   That said, creating activity on a company page on Facebook or Twitter can amplify and drive traffic to a company website - and MyCRM as an organisation use this approach quite actively. See our Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-CRM-Limited/367480604689. More is discussed in the section below about building the social network and presence. Search Engine Marketing:- There are two main popular types of search engine marketing and these are “adwords” and banner marketing. Both Google and Bing have their own services and you can read more here: Bing https://secure.bingads.microsoft.com/ Google https://adwords.google.com Making use of adwords can be an expensive process depending on which keywords are required, and some specialist help may be required to help set up the adverts and keywords used to get the best effect if working on a smaller budget. Overall, marketing is key for driving repeat and new business and sales teams will always want more qualified opportunity coming into the business.   Support and getting it right:- A number of larger organisations are already using social media for support and I recently discovered this by making a complaint about a product I had bought from Argos on their Facebook page, only to get a very quick response and great customer service.  There are a number of ways to go about this: you can give a customer support representative access to your support page on Facebook, or have integration into another software product like Microsoft CRM.  At the end of the day the process is the same and enables a new interface to be used for your business so customers can interact with you. What is very important to understand though is that using social media for support should be considered as just a single tool and a single channel, and should not be left as the only way a customer can interact with support.   Getting Social:- Building a social media presence is an ongoing process. Some organisations do it well, and some as an afterthought. You can see the MyCRM Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-CRM-Limited/367480604689) that we actively post news and information that links to products and support updates.  We also run sponsored links and advertising campaigns two or three times per year on Facebook. Facebook is a great brand builder for your product - regardless of size of organisation – content can be easily placed in newsfeeds or on advertising feeds. By doing this awareness will grow, and if you have interesting things to say about product or problems that your organisation can help with then more interest will build around your social presence and brand. There are now dedicated agency businesses that will help build your social presence from as little as £1000 ($1500) per month, but you’re not going to get a great deal of content. If you’re working on a low budget then you might want to look at alternatives like Pure Content (http://www.purecontent.com/) that can help build specific content around your business by providing new stories on a daily or weekly basis. Twitter is another great tool for driving people to your web site and raising awareness about products and services that you may sell or offer.  Just like Facebook, you need people and organisations to follow what you are saying. If you don’t have an audience of volume then you’re not going to get a great return, and this is why I said that social awareness and social brand recognition is built over time. Marketing services and ads from Facebook can help but also organisations like Twitter Counter http://twittercounter.com/ can help build followers. Keep in mind that you do need to have the right message and keep tweets relevant to the service you offer. Using Twitter for competitions and special offers is also great - I have seen many competitions and promotions where an organisation will offer a free iPad or the latest smartphone if you complete your details online for a new product or event.  These competitions or promotions then draw the lucky winner from all those that entered.  This said, you do need a page and a way to record this information, so thought needs to be given on how you are going to run an online promotion with Twitter. Twitter is also great for including #HashTags. By using #HashTags you can generate interest outside of your direct followers, for instance we use #CRM and #MSDYNCRM regularly in our posts for #MyCRM (https://twitter.com/MyCRMGroup). In conclusion; does socialising your business mean good CRM? Well, like all technology enhancements if it is done correctly and the correct message is used, or you have the requirement of instant answers then yes, at MyCRM we believe that social integration will help you drive your business forward.   To get a trial 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 your 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.

How can social technology and awareness benefit CRM?

Ensuring the implementation of an effective CRM system remains extremely important for any business looking to achieve increased sales and customer engagement.  An interesting new article from Destination CRM has also highlighted the value of exploring customer relationship management within social media and some of the benefits that this can have. Target prospects One of the key ways that CRM systems can benefit from effective social media use is that it offers an outstanding way in which to find potential new prospects.  A company can easily monitor discussions and analyse trends to find out which people are discussing areas relevant to their brand and can use this targeted data to reach out to these potential new customers. 'Surprise and delight' customers Another key benefit of effective social media is to use the networks to 'surprise and delight' customers.  A great example came when Morton's steakhouse received a tweet from a customer asking if he could be greeted at Newark airport with a porterhouse steak.  He was subsequently amazed when the company did exactly that, winning themselves a loyal customer for life, as well as some outstanding PR and word-of-mouth promotion. Rewarding loyal influentials Another key way to take advantage of social media CRM is that it offers a company the chance to reach out and talk to their most influential customers.  For instance, if a popular blogger felt moved to review and praise a product of the firm, the company could use social media to actually get in touch with the blogger and further build the relationship, providing a real opportunity for further promotion Later this week I will be posting more on Social CRM with the considerations that can be given and things to think about but this article gives a great starting point on how CRM and Social CRM are one in the same and the principal of extending your organisations reach to enable social interaction will lead to higher customer satisfaction and business qualification. By default Microsoft Dynamics CRM current has internal social ability with the integration of the Microsoft Owned Yammer but here at MyCRM we are working towards new integration of Social Media for day to day activity like sales, marketing and support. Source: Destination CRM 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:- 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.

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

Customer Think explores Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

A new piece at Customer Think has further explored the latest CRM software from Microsoft (Dynamics CRM 2013), looking at the developments that have been made since Dynamics 2011. The analysis also highlights some of the key aspects that any effective CRM software should possess, and for this reason alone it's worth taking a closer look. Firstly, the article quite rightly highlights the User Experience within the new software.  This is without doubt an absolute necessity when it comes to CRM management, simply because the customer relationship management makes use of a huge amount of data. Yammer integration for social networking has been added, as well as a process flow control, which enables users to add background information to static records. Expanded Mobility is another key benefit noted, and is once again an essential part of the modern CRM process.  Put simply, the digital world is growing substantially, with the mobile market in particular getting bigger every day. Dynamics 2013 is getting on board with the flow of the digital world, and now enables users to link up to Yammer, Skype and Lync via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Business Process Automation is also mentioned, and quite right, too.  It's important to ensure that if you're investing in technology, it's able to save you time and money by automating some of the necessary CRM processes.  Otherwise, why's it even there?  Essentially, as the article notes, it should help you "do more with less".  Finally, it notes that the software is cost-effective.  This is without doubt another essential you should be looking to save money on! Source: CustomerThink MyCRM a managed service partner and ISV can help deliver Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a managed service and is working towards the release date for the new version. 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/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

7 Steps to getting a CRM implementation right

A new piece from Smart Data Collective has explored some of the key elements that will help a company implement a new CRM system smoothly and efficiently.  As with any new system, taking the time to ensure a good transition is valuable, so the points are well worth exploring: Prepare properly It's important to ensure that the team integrating the new project is put together efficiently, with an equal balance developed between the various key skills that will go into ensuring the system is a success.  Don’t become reliant on a 3rd party partner for all the implementation, make sure your internal team can and has time to take ownership from the outset. Make sure every area is covered and part of the team The article notes that the team implementing the system should include a senior figure to help generate awareness, key executives, departmental managers from customer service, sales and marketing, IT managers, genuine subject matter experts, experts in customer resource management technology (usually an outside consultant) and a genuine project manager. Don’t try and complete the project as one big bang, if small steps and department by department works then take this approach, at the end of the day you still have a business to run. Have a set goal and define the process As with absolutely every project, it's going to be impossible to measure a CRM system's success if concrete goals aren't set before the project goes ahead.  It's important to take the time to consult the key stakeholders and create a solid, common set of expectations that are listed in priority order.  Define as a process how you want to work and then sense check this approach to make sure that just because it is the “how is”, can there be, or is there a better way. Reviewing processes and examining the way people are working can be a great drive to review efficiency and improve working practices. Personalise the database It's important to ensure that when the relevant data is being imported from different sources across the business, it's vital that the team takes the time to make sure everything is kept consistent.  Duplicates need to be removed and irrelevant data needs to be kept away from the new database.  If it isn't, you'll end up with the same problems that you have now! Consistency is key to the implementation of CRM across all departments and this enable a unified way of working. Configure and Own the System It is likely that you will work with a partner like MyCRM to help advise and configure the software solution but remember the technology is just a tool or a means to an end for collecting the data.  All internal stakeholders need to work together to define what data they need to see and hold, and how that data is used in the organisation and how the flow of the customer’s journey is defined. All on the same page This might be the obvious one but make user a full session of User Acceptance Testing is done and make sure all end users understand the process on how to use the implementation of CRM. Go Live but Mind the Gap Firstly make sure before you switch to production that the system has the latest dataset and all users have been set up with the correct roles and access along with suitable passwords. In the early stages of production end users will sometimes try to find a reason not to use a new system, so try and make the process as painless as possible. Once the implementation is in production then be ready to “mind the gap” as business process will change and so will end users. Make sure regular review of data, user acceptance and process are carried out. To read more from the original article: Smart Data Collective 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/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    

RFU Implements Microsoft Dynamics CRM as part of IBM Project, but can Small Clubs benefit from the Same Technology?

The benefits of CRM have been given an obvious boost this week. The UK Rugby Football Union has announced that it is to introduce the new Microsoft CRM software in order to better understand and to make better use of its data. The aim for the Union is to try and improve its engagement with both fans and players of the sport by making use of the information they have as well as trying to obtain more of it. The RFU is the main governing body for English Rugby Union and currently employs over 500 people in order to help develop the sport at both a national and a youth level.  The organisation currently has an annual turnover of around £116 million. The CRM service will be created as part of an ongoing deal that the Union has with IBM and the software used will be the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management platform.  It will be integrated onto the RFU website. Nick Shaw, head of digital for the union, said: "We have so much data in different places, so we need to understand who are our customers are and what they are doing so that we can better inform them about where they can play rugby in their local area for example, rather than just firing messages at them sporadically." The message is obvious. For small organisations and businesses, effectively managing CRM processes will enable them to make better use of their data and hopefully grow and improve engagement as a result. Source: Computer World I know from experience that maybe a number of smaller clubs will read this article and think: “that would be great, but we don’t have that sort of budget!”. As an organisation MyCRM has had a number of opportunities to work with sports clubs in both Rugby and Football and currently sponsors an under 16’s team.  Working with organisations like Salford City Reds http://www.thereddevils.net/ over the past 4 years we have had the opportunity to advise and help with the delivery of email and SMS marketing while keeping player, membership and sponsorship data directly in a hosted CRM solution using Microsoft Dynamics CRM. MyCRM is the ideal solution provider for smaller clubs where budget for IT and marketing can be restrictive. To find out more contact us below. 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/eView.aspx Our Customer 360 View and search solution enables a snapshot of all activity on an individual customer. We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more hear about using MyCRM as a managed service http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/ To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com