CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and exactly as it sounds it contains details of all your customers or potential customers.
At its heart, a CRM system is a database. It is customisable (we can use it for generic database work as well), modular and can be installed on your own servers (or ones we can set up on your behalf).
Why Your Business Needs One
Most people asking this are using spreadsheets, accounts packages, email or something else to keep track of their customers or leads, this is all very good for invoicing etc but when tracking projects, leads or opportunities or even keeping an eye on how you or your staff are supporting existing customers, you may very well need more.
A CRM can integrate with your email system and save emails from/to customers against their records in the CRM. With a few modules, you can store and analyse social media interactions as well. You can integrate your VOIP system so calls can be logged automatically. Just keeping track of conversations is a great benefit to the customer when you can answer the phone and immediately pick up their details and see the last conversations you had.
As we all know, our best new sales come from existing customers. You can use your CRM to email/SMS market your existing and new customers. You can report on sales and do “what if” marketing (people who bought this liked this other service/product so you may too). Linking to eCommerce systems can track a lot of this information automatically. You can even link it to your accounts systems and see which customers are bringing in the money and if you are using it for support, see which ones are costing you more as well.
Fear of missing out with a client?! Well, with a CMS you can run regular reports to see when you last contacted the client (call/meeting/email) and then auto-schedule a task for the person responsible for that customer to give them a catch-up call.
Working Options is a charitable organisation who organise and host a series of various workshops for young people (14-18) to help prepare them for entering the workplace. This involves having regular (and recurring) events at schools and colleges, that they were currently managing with a series of spreadsheets, PowerPoint documents and numerous hours of manual calculation. To complicate matters even further all of their staff were home-based and therefore they had no office within which to place a more traditional solution (an access database that they had been offered elsewhere).
After a series of meetings with staff, we implemented the installation of SuiteCRM for them, with a number of bespoke modules to take away the pain of the manual processing. Hosting it on our secure server network means that they can access the system from wherever they are.
Based on this we configured and customised the software for our client to include:
- A central and bespoke database of Schools, Colleges and partners;
- A central database of contacts at the above institutions;
- Workflow process to remind staff of key tasks (due to schedule next event, tasks for in-progress events etc.);
- Expanded events details to track specific key tasks and indicators around the events;
- An additional module to store and process event feedback data;
- An additional module to auto-generate pre-event worksheets for attendees;
- An additional module to auto-generate post-event PowerPoint documents sent out to institutions and volunteers;
- Various reports built either in the standard reporting tool or as a custom dashlet;
- Implementation of Google Maps Integration to allow easy viewing of volunteers near to events.
SuiteCRM is an open-source and highly customisable Customer Relationship Management system. It allows you to create simple client records, up to workflow-driven custom database systems. It has a healthy community and client base with a series of commercial modules that allow you to integrate with the major online services that business require.
“Would highly recommend working with IceStar Media. Mark is reliable, friendly and professional and works with people with little IT knowledge and experience really well! Mark has been brilliant to work with on setting up and maintaining our CRM system.”
Lauren Monk: Working Options