by Paul Rudo on 20/10/11 at 6:44 am
The effectiveness of CRM software is not in dispute. The process of organizing your customer relationship management system is greatly simplified by using such software. The question here is as a small to medium sized organization do you really need to buy CRM software or should you make use of a free web based CRM application? The free software can give you all the basic CRM related functions that you would like to use. So why would you need to order a customized CRM system when you could get a basic model for free.
The question most companies need to ask themselves is how much time does it take to make the free software compatible to use with your own company’s database? Is it a onetime thing or does it need constant adjustments? If it is relatively easy to streamline the two software programs it may not be necessary to spring for a customized version of the CRM software. However if the process is complicated and beyond the scope of your average employee, it may cause more of a mess than be any help. In that case the added expense of buying a CRM softwareis justified.
As customer care is the primary goal, it makes sense that the tools that you provide your customer service employees with are user friendly. They will need a lot of patience to handle the customer, and the computer together and make sure that the customer is kept satisfied. So why add to the stress levels of the customer service staff by giving them software which they cannot handle with ease? Wouldn’t it be much better to give them the kind of software that needs minimum training and is accessible with ease? By making the job of your employees easier you are also ensuring that the customers will be kept satisfied.
You do not want to gain the reputation of a company where the employees over promise and under deliver. This is what will happen when the employee is expected to have some information on his finger tips, but is not able to access it in a timely and organized manner. The customer gets the impression that the person handling their account is uninformed and inefficient. Such situations can be avoided altogether if the software is customized and the staff is trained well in handling it.
While I agree that not all companies need to customize Customer Relationship Management software, and some may make do very well with the free software that is readily available online, I also feel that customized software can make a major difference in the way a customer perceives the company. In the end it is up to the owner of the business to decide just how much value will customized CRM software add to the company. If the value is considered appreciable, it may be a good idea to go in for such software.
Author Biography: Sarika Periwal represents KarmaCRM, a web based CRM solution with free and premium accounts. An online CRM software provides the added advantage of you being able to access your data from anywhere.