A Customer Driven Philosophy Needs a Customer Relationship Management Solution

Customer relationship management is a structured business strategy that sets standards and processes for how an organisation deals with current and potential customers. It is at the core of any company that wishes to embrace a customer driven philosophy. Underlying the business direction is the technology which drives the strategy using CRM software. A successful CRM implementation will leverage customer data throughout a company having the right information, being used by the right people at the right time. In effect CRM can be the catalyst for change, the foundation for facilitating business growth and differentiating you from your competition.

Whilst individual company objectives may vary, fundamentally, CRM is a method to increase customer satisfaction, increase revenue and profit and increase the efficiency of staff when dealing with customers. Exceptional customer service is not something left to a sales team or a help desk, but needs to be integrated across all customer activity within your organisation.

Most companies implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM to assist sales, marketing, and customer service. Each of these departments is closely aligned around a customer and it is logical that information about a customer is shared between them. When defining the business requirements for managing your customers, having input from all three of these departments is critical. Spending the time to clearly define the objectives, expected results, and the processes will help you determine the solution most appropriate to your needs. For example, some of the key features of a customer relationship management solution would enable you to:

• Keep all client account information in a single repository and be able to track any communications with each client.
• Keep sales opportunities, match them to sales forecasts and track them against your sales process.
• Keep a list of products and pricing together with automated discounts specific to different clients.
• Integrate into Microsoft Office products and easily produce any communication including general correspondence, quotes, orders, and invoices.
• Create and maintain lists to manage marketing campaigns.
• Keep all your marketing material in a central location and make it easily accessible.
• Keep a history of what marketing material has been sent to each customer account and to whom within that account.
• Be able to send targeted correspondence to individuals specific to their work roles and areas of interest.
• Maintain a history of customer service calls and be able to use this to track progress and help in resolving other customer issues.
• Share all this information across sales, marketing, and customer service and have an integrated approach to manage all interactions with each customer.
• Provide you with an extensive level of business intelligence through regular reports as well as real time dashboards.

CRM is no longer just available to the larger enterprises, those that have the money to invest. CRM software products such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM give you the choice of implementing CRM on-premises or on-demand. On-premises will enable you to integrate applications including Microsoft Office products as well as accounting, warehousing and inventory applications among many others. On-demand CRM brings an enterprise level solution to smaller companies through a hosted CRM solution. In itself, this can be a fast start entry into a CRM initiative with the ability to migrate to an on-premises solution as you grow.

An effective customer relationship management solution is not just software. The information technology component is the last decision after having defined your business strategies and developed the processes by which your people will deal with your customers.

By Antony Dutton, CSG – Microsoft CRM software Sydney specialists who will give you a CRM Demo to evaluate your requirements.

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