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]

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]

Microsoft Dynamics 2013 Apps in an App Store near you

It has been announced that Redmond has rolled out the new tablet app for Microsoft Dynamics.  The app can now be downloaded from both the Apple app store and the Windows store. The main Dynamics CRM software (RTM) set was released earlier this month. It has received good reviews from those who've used it, and the hype for the tablet app has continued amongst those who downloaded the software. The app itself promises to involve the user in all of the main activities from the main software itself.  It's easy for users to access their current activities, view their accounts, and look at current open leads and opportunities as well as viewing their contact books. Interestingly, the ... [More]

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 ... [More]

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 repre... [More]