CRM means customer relationship management, but what does this really mean and who in your company should use the software? CRM software, such as Act! by Swiftpage (formerly by Sage), keeps track of all your interactions with your customers or prospects, but only works if everyone in your company who has direct contact with the outside world embraces it and uses it.
- The training in Act! that I give has brought home to me that installing and learning what the software does is only the first part of the story. Act! will, if used properly, record a history of emails sent and received through Microsoft Outlook, synch with your Outlook or Google calendar, record E-marketing campaigns sent and the responses from them, and give easy access to customer-specific documents.
Using the keyword searches and lookup features, it is also excellent for deciding who should receive your various e-mailshot campaigns, and custom fields mean you can subdivide your customer and prospect list easily in order to manage your contact with them. This is only on condition, though, that all your staff record their interactions with your customers in the system. If some staff opt out and use their own methods, like Excel lists for mail shots, and private calendars to record meetings, then you will only ever get half the story. In a company where they make the most of Customer Relationship Management, the CRM software is the first thing staff open in the morning, and the last thing they close at night – and is the first place people think of to look up contact details during the working day. So when you are looking at introducing a CRM system into your company, make sure you think about how all your staff should use the system, even the most senior personnel who have direct links with external contacts, otherwise you may find there is no point in having a CRM system installed. Make sure you not only train staff in how they should use the system, but WHY they should use it too.
Act! 2010 by Swiftpage has recently been withdrawn from Sale as of January 2014. In order to continue using the product and keeping up to date with the latest technology and operating systems we suggest you upgrade to Act! V16 as soon as possible. We currently have offers available (until the end of March 2014) so get in touch for more details.