Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Customizing Your CRM

Have you found yourself wondering why your customer relationship management (CRM) tracking methods don’t really provide you the answers you need about your clients? Are you unable to access the data whenever and wherever you need it? With the right settings and customizations, you’ll get more useful results from your CRM.

Mobile Customization
Not all CRM services treat mobile as a top priority. Not every business needs mobile apps and constant access to their data, but for most, it’s pretty important. In fact, CRM apps may see as much a 500 percent growth by 2014. Nobody wants to be tethered to a cubicle to get work done. Now that excellent options are available to help you break out, why wouldn’t you take advantage of their expanded features? App stores already contain around 200 CRM apps, along with third-party apps developed to work with the CRM software of your choice.

Even if you don’t foresee a need for apps right now, when comparing CRM features, make sure the mobile access is available. It’s a feature you almost certainly will end up using. If you haven’t chosen a mobile-friendly, customized CRM yet, then you might want to consider options with optimized websites as well. You and your important users will be able to access a mobile optimized site across platforms, instead of worrying about operating systems or compatibility issues.

Security Customization
You know your CRM solution should provide 128 bit SSL encryption to keep your information secure on the web.  What about security within your user network?  If you use a quality CRM solution, you should be able to set permissions for nearly all the items in your account. Whether by work teams or by individual, take care to choose permissions so the right people can see the right data. Not only will this keep users from accessing information you may not want them to have, but it also limits the possibility of mistakes.

To keep your email permission settings easy to manage, consider grouping contacts by their interest in your company. This way you can apply permissions to entire groups. You may also group them and apply appropriate permissions based on their project involvement or specific relationship characteristics. Whatever method you choose, make sure it will be manageable for you whether you have two, 20, or 2,000 clients to avoid the need to restructure permissions in the future. You don’t want to find out your method isn’t working by sending the wrong mail to the wrong client.

Custom Relationship Tracking
Knowing how a client came to you or whether they’ve made a purchase from you is not the only important customer relationship data you must track. When it comes to CRM contact information, the more you know, the stronger your ties. Personal information, like whether one contact is related to another or affiliated with a client company, can create opportunities you otherwise may not have known were there. The whole point of highly customizable relationship tracking is to give context to your contacts; otherwise, you’d still be using a Rolodex®.

CRMs with project management integration can further expand the context of your client base by integrating project involvement with your contact list. If you can look at previous projects with which a contact was involved, and see their interactions within projects, you have a much clearer picture than you do with just a name and a handful of data.

Integration with mailing services you already use, like MailChimp, is another means of fleshing out your contact list within CRM software. Insightly synchronizes contact lists with MailChimp—plus, you can use filtering options to target specific contacts for certain MailChimp lists. You can also import your subscribers to Insightly.

Integration with services you already use and the ability to customize your CRM will give you better context for all of your customers, make your communications more effective, and make your contact list into an even more valuable part of your small business toolkit.

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