CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. As its name implies, it’s a system that keeps a record of everything there is to know about customers. Without a CRM solution, customer records may have been kept in many different files or locations. Customer information can include pertinent records like customer names, birthdays, email accounts, and other notes. Without a single depository of that information, it’ll be a lot harder to keep track of important information.
This is where CRM solutions come in as the answer to all those concerns. You can think of the CRM solution as a one-stop-shop for all of your customer-related concerns and woes. Because of their proven efficacy in helping many businesses nowadays, CRM solutions are popping up left and right, so it’s often hard to choose what to go for. For a business to enjoy all the promised benefits a good CRM solution can bring, such a CRM solution should also be characterized by all the features that separate what a good one is, from what a mediocre one may be.
So, what makes an excellent CRM solution? Here’s a list of all its characteristics – applying both a paid and a free online customer relationship management software.
The Security Features Are Uncompromised
Yes, technology is a gift. But, it’s also not without its inherent weaknesses. One of the most prevalent criticisms against data stored through the cloud and in CRM systems is the fact of how it’s also very prone to data theft, identity theft, and breach. To protect your customer information, you have to choose a CRM that also comes with strong and reliable security features.
There’s no single approach to getting this done right. Each CRM software will have its respective standards as to what its security features will be. It’s for you to choose the one equipped with the security features which you believe to be the best one for your business needs.
If you don’t know how to go about this, the best individuals to ask are always the sales representatives or agents for the software you’re looking to buy. They can help explain each security feature for you, so you can make your personal choice and run-down based on what matters most for your business.
There Is A Reliable Availability Of Specialized Features
Another facet to be on the lookout for is whether or not the CRM software is specialized. If your business belongs to a highly specialized industry, then this fact is something you’ll truly need to put a weight of importance on.
For example, some CRM software is designed specifically to work for a specific niche. If your business belongs to the financial industry, some come with all the financial regulations and requirements that need to be met.
Remember that customers of businesses in different niches also vary. It’s a bonus to use CRM software that caters to the type of business that you have, so a more specific and specialized approach to customer relations can be implemented.
The Need For Customization Can Be Met
Digging deeper into the availability of specialized features above, an excellent CRM is also one that’s easily customizable. This means you can tweak certain settings and features to make the CRM solution more suited to your business needs. The capability to customize your CRM means you have one that can fit the processes you need to do, as a part of your daily dealings with customers.
This customization option can cover areas like:
- How information is laid out and stored;
- Who gets to control and see certain customer information kept in your CRM;
- How new fields are added;
- Whether or not the ability to customize reports and automation is there;
- How the sales pipeline will be configured.
The Whole System Is User-Friendly
Don’t assume that everyone on board your team are tech experts. Some are better than others. So, to make everything in the business work smoothly for customer relationships, it’s important to train your team too, in how to use the CRM solution you’ve chosen.
Despite that training, however, there are still those CRM solutions that are just so challenging to understand. They’re too technical to the point that even simple actions are difficult to complete. It’s hard to get around the system to find certain information, and it’s not the most user-friendly option to use as well.
No matter how good a CRM system may be known to be, if it isn’t user-friendly, then it can’t serve its purpose well enough. Always choose a CRM solution that’s easy to understand and use, even for tech beginners.
Remember that to begin with, the whole purpose of even using CRM software is for it to help make transactions easier. If such an intention can’t be achieved, then you’re better off looking for another CRM software instead.
The Price Is Reasonable
A CRM solution need not be expensive for it to be the best. This fact is the reason why you need to do your part in performing your own research regarding CRM software. Compared to different providers, you know you’re getting the best possible price without compromising on the quality.
This factor is even all the more pressing for smaller businesses or startups. Because resources are limited, you have to put more thought into looking for the right CRM. You want to ensure that at the price point you’re being charged, all the needs you intend to be addressed by the CRM can all be ticked.
There Is That Option For Real-Time Process Monitoring
Another reason why many businesses now use CRM solutions is the fact that this enables employees to access information anytime, anywhere. For as long as they have the login details to access the CRM, they don’t have to be in the physical office to do work. This is an earmark of efficiency and productivity brought by a CRM.
To that end, the option for real-time process monitoring should also be there. This means that when a certain individual who has access to the stored information changes or updates anything, those updates are recorded in real-time. Everyone can see what those updates are, therefore also reducing the chances of committing a human error.
One of the largest software being used today is Customer Relationship Management (CRM). By the looks of it, there seems to be slowing it down. Many businesses are turning to CRM software, in the hopes of fostering better customer relations, improving their customer service, and achieving overall success and efficiency as a business, customer-wise. When choosing one, take note of the features above. All of those are what make up good CRM software, so you know you’re paying for and using the best that you can for your business.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.