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

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