What is CRM and how can I use my CRM data?

If you have ever asked yourself “what is CRM all about, and why does my business even need one?” then take a read though and I’ll try to explain how you can use the data you accumulate in your CRM system. But firstly - and lots have people have asked me this one - “What is CRM?” In short it is a database you collect information about your customers in.  I’d be surprised if you don’t already have one, although it might not be super effective and it might not be Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You might even have several with different information - some on spreadsheets like Microsoft excel. In this latest article, I try to discuss how CRM data can be us... [More]

Microsoft releases industry templates for CRM 2013

Microsoft is making an attempt to differentiate its Dynamics CRM software from other competitors in the sector by including a new set of 18 specific industry templates as part of the software.  These templates are designed to be used by companies in those industries, and include sports management, healthcare and even more specialist areas such as prison inmate data. The customised templates were announced during Microsoft's Convergence 2013 EMEA event, held in Barcelona. As well as the templates, Microsoft also publicised a new pricing offer which will bundle the Dynamics software with Office 365.  The offer will be available up until March 2014 according to the company’s... [More]

Questions to ask before investing in your next CRM system

A CRM system can have a number of positive impacts on almost any company.  However, it is important that before a system is invested in, certain key questions are asked of it: Is it easy to use onboard? It is important to make sure that one, intuitive cross-referencing tool is used in order to allow that offline customer data is used in order to increase the online audience.  This should be do-able in an immediate, genuinely actionable way. How compatible is the system? It is important for a CRM system to be able to link up effectively with other data and tools.  Therefore, whatever particular apps a company considers essential, whether it is advertising click data or shop... [More]

How can CRM software aid different business processes?

After doing some research and reviewing a number of articles including this new piece on CIO.com, I just thought I‘d take the opportunity to cover off some of the key processes and areas that a good implementation of CRM can be used for. The article on CIO talks about 3 key areas and explores the CRM sector in a different way.  Essentially, it looks at three ways in which an effective CRM system can help to improve a company's business processes.  But from experience and understanding what CRM systems can be used for I’ve taken the opportunity to add what is missing. A CRM system implemented correctly is and can be so much more. The first three points below are correc... [More]

Effective CRM and Mobile Apps can help end poor customer service

An interesting new article in Business 2 Community has highlighted that in the mobile age, effective customer service remains the key to achieving positive CRM results. With 90% of UK shoppers saying that they would walk away from a sale if they encountered poor customer service, it is important that no avenue of a brand is left behind.  The article voices the fact that mobile CRM is the ideal way to achieve this. A mobile CRM should be used to determine information under two umbrellas. This would be the information the customer actually wants to access on their mobile and also how they want to engage with it. The article then highlights the value of both simplicity and ease of acces... [More]

Can CRM benefit higher education and what are the parallels with business?

A new piece in the Financial Post has highlighted the potential that CRM could bring to the higher education sector.  Interestingly, research has already indicated that institutions could gain a 42% increase in revenue by making use of an effective customer relationship management process piece Four key requirements for a CRM system were explored: Complete tracking of students A successful CRM system in the higher education sector would need to build a detailed profile of each student's interests, including their preferences and their purchase intent, not to mention their academic financial and communication history.  Essentially, this has the same aim as a business profile whic... [More]

Implementing CRM - Key Questions for your CRM Provider

A new piece in Business 2 Community has explored some of the key questions that a company should ask any CRM service provider that they're considering working with.  We're completely in favour of firms working with only the best companies, so we're going to explore each point:   Do they have a mobile friendly approach?   In the modern business world, the ability to be mobile is essential.  How many executives are genuinely sat at their desk for eight hours a day?  Virtually none, and yet some CRM services aren't accounting for the ability to explore data on the move.  Any CRM system you invest in should be useable on the road.   With the recent releas... [More]

Customers want more personalisation from businesses

A new survey has shed light onto the attitude of modern consumers which highlights an interesting trend, revealing that despite concerns regarding the safety of their private information, many of them still want to receive more personalised data from businesses. This is usually found in the information that is sent to individual consumers. Organisations that used tailored marketing via email or web usually scored better with loyal customers. The SAS study showed that 71% of the 1,260 people surveyed did have some concerns regarding the recent revelations of data observation. 60% still expected businesses to be aware of their preferences and to understand their needs. 59% noted that they f... [More]

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 wit... [More]