How Is Your CRM?

crm-counterHow does one get new clients? By looking after existing clients!

Word of mouth is a very effective way of getting new clients. And that brings us to CRM. What on earth is that?

In this post we will describe what it is, and how a small organization can implement it.

The Definition
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers (from Wikipedia).

In practical terms when a client calls you, and you can answer “Hi Joe, how is the new grand child?”, then the client feels positive about your relationship.

Some people have the knack to remember details about people, but for most of us it is not so easy—we need help. That is where CRM tools come in.

Importance
A recent report lists reasons why many small businesses will fail this year.  In this short video from the article Times columnist, Gene Marks, discusses the importance of CRM for small businesses.

CRM Tools
All organizations need CRM, but the size and type of your organization will determine the type of CRM tool that will work for you. We look at three options.

  • OneNote
    Microsoft OneNote lets you keep notes on anything, including customers. OneNote is like a small tabbed pocket book, where you keep notes about each client that you place in the tabbed sections by last name. You can access this information using your desktop and your smartphone. Here is an example…
  • Outlook
    Although Outlook is not free, many organizations are already using it for email and tracking their contacts. Outlook tracks much of the information in Contacts that you will need for CRM. It can also give you reminders of birthdays, follow up tasks and more. Here is more information…
  • Subscription Services
    There are many providers of online CRM services. These can be very powerful and provide features based on advanced data analysis. But they are not free. If you have many clients, these services may well be worth the monthly subscription fee. For an example see…

The Take-away
It seems that every year there is a report of some kind giving reasons why small businesses fail. But you don’t have to be one of the statistics—consider your CRM needs and implement a suitable tool today.