Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

CRM Best Practices for Small Businesses

January 03, 2013
By TMCnet Special Guest
Anthony Smith, founder and CEO of Insightly

For a small business, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution is the heart that pumps information to the rest of its moving parts. In order to thrive, small businesses must rely on a CRM for more than just managing leads and converting customers. When used properly, a CRM can help run the entire company and keep business owners in the loop on progress and activity across all departments.

Here are a few CRM best practices to consider for your small business:

Make a note

Make sure that when employees use the CRM, all customer activity is recorded there. If knowledge is power, then even the smallest details about your customers, partners and projects might come in handy. For example, if a customer calls with an issue, a quick search in the CRM allows anyone to get up-to-speed on past interactions with the customer in order to field the call.

Go mobile

The ability to access your CRM from anywhere, anytime is invaluable. On-demand access to customer data and company projects gives you the freedom to do business on-the-go without worry. This is especially useful if you work from your home, vehicle, or another remote site.

Scrub your data

One of the biggest problems people sometimes have when they first start using a CRM is that the data they import is inaccurate, incomplete, or messy. Make sure that all your importable content, like contacts managed in an Excel document, are clean and up-to-date before you start importing. Otherwise, your import will finish and some information may be old or incomplete. This goes for any data that you have as you transfer it into your CRM. Appointments, e-mails, project information -- all of this important content could look completely different after an import, if not cleaned up and vetted correctly. 

Get everyone to use it

Make sure that all employees, not just executives, are using the CRM on a daily basis to promote consistency and clarity within the company. It especially helps to have a CRM with great e-mail integration so that your whole team is on the same page, all the time.

Help desk

When choosing your CRM, it’s important to find out what type of support is available. You will want a service that can respond to you within 24 hours so issues are rectified in a timely manner, without affecting your productivity. Otherwise, you could find yourself up to your eyeballs in complaints, and with nowhere to turn for answers. 

These simple CRM best practices can mean life or death for your small business. When properly implemented, a CRM can streamline your business, create a collaborative office environment, build customer relationships and increase productivity. 

Anthony Smith is founder and CEO of Insightly, a creator of customer relationship management software for small businesses. More than 100,000 businesses worldwide leverage Insightly’s cloud-based technology, easy-to-use interface and freemium pricing model to organize and manage their business.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Contact Center Solutions Week in Review: Interactive Intelligence, BT and Accenture

The future is now, or at least it is coming at us fast in the Contact Center Solutions Community, and there are two great ways to be part of the industry buzz as to what is unlikely to unfold in 2015. The first is to attend ITEXPO East, January 27-30, 2014 at the Miami Beach Convention center. This is a great opportunity to be warm and more to the point, hear, see and discuss contact center issues in person with peers and subject matter experts. [ Read More ]
01/17/2015

Customer Experience: The Last True Differentiator

In Ernst & Young's Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014, customers chose "the way I am treated" as the second most important reason for trusting their banking provider, just behind the understandably important "financial stability" of their bank. Customer experience was also cited as the most common reason for opening and closing accounts, more important than fees, rates, locations or convenience. Approximately 40 percent of customers planned to open or close an account in 2014. This means banks … [ Read More ]
01/16/2015

Digital Is Driving Businesses to Offer Personal and Intuitive Customer Experiences says Accenture Report

The preoccupation with improving the customer experience (CX) by C-levels around the world has been a trend for several years. In fact, the fastest growing C-level position is Customer Experience Management Officer (CEMO) or some variation on the title. And, as CX becomes ever more important as the means to provide differentiated value, delighting existing customers and for obtaining and keeping new ones, the preoccupation will not only grow more intense in 2015, but so will the investments in t… [ Read More ]
01/16/2015

BT Launches New Personalized Video Message Service

When it comes to contact center out-reach there are two trends that everyone needs to literally and figuratively keep an eye on in 2015. They are "personalization" and "video." And, while the first may seem obvious since the goal of marketers is to make customers and prospects feel appreciated with tailored messages uniquely for them, the use of video on the outbound side of things is after many years becoming something more than a novelty. [ Read More ]
01/15/2015
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!