21 Apr CRM – Why I Love It!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love my CRM system. I really do think it’s a vital piece of software for any business. But sometimes, when I talk to my clients about the possibility of getting this software for their business, they look at me as if I have gone completely mad.
Because traditionally, small businesses don’t think they need one yet. Well guess what? I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true!
Right now, my business is me, myself and I. I may grow in the future but at this time, I am happy being a team of one. So why does little old me need a CRM system?
BECAUSE I HAVE CLIENTS!!!
Let me take you back in time and travel through several stages of office management systems.
Remember the filing cabinet? (I know, I know, there is still one taking pride of place in the corner of your office). We used these to store our customer information. We would put sleeves in, so we could have them in alphabetical order, so they are easy to access. Just a quick walk to the cabinet, a little search time and hey presto, here’s your client file. Filled with paper and confidential information!
Then came the rolodex. For those who have no idea what I just said, it sits on your desk and has thousands of cards attached, each one with customer details on it and it rolls around. Hours of fun. Not exactly great when it comes to Data Protection but still, it’s a fun tool to have at your desk.
Then we moved on to the floppy disc. Oh I loved a good floppy disc. I could store all my data in one place and only have to wait for the computer to “dial up” and all of my customer information was ready and waiting.
Lastly, we started using computers to store information. In came Excel spread sheets and hours of fun creating many different columns and manually inputting customer details.
I’m worn out just thinking about these systems.
So, we have gone through these stages in our business so why not embrace the next one? With GDPR coming in to play next month, now is the time to think about stepping away from those traditional filing systems and getting with the new generation. A CRM system is likely to be web/cloud based, so not stored directly on to a computer, meaning it will provide you with another level of security. If you haven’t done so already, get some help to make sure you are GDPR ready.
So what is a Customer Relationship Management System?
A CRM is one central database that tells you everything you need to know about your clients. Who they are, where they work, contact details, sales history and more. It’s a 360-degree view of your customer data.
It means you can track what you have done with your customers which means you won’t lose them!
How often do you do work for a customer and then as soon as that job is done, they get forgotten about? If you had kept that relationship going, they could have given you masses of repeat business. Having a CRM system means that you will never lose track of a customer again.
Your customer data could be centrally stored and managed in one place. For example;
- Past, present and future order details
- Preferences for mass mailing
And even better, if you need it, some CRM systems are linked to accountancy software such as Xero or Quickbooks so even that side of your business could be covered.
If you are a slightly bigger business and there’s two or more of you, you are likely to be using different spreadsheets. How do you keep yourself up to date with the most current version and ensure that you are all on the same page with it?
A CRM automatically gives you the current version, so you can be safe in the knowledge that all users are working harmoniously together.
My favourite reason (don’t tell the hubby) is because it’s accessible anywhere. You don’t have to be sat at your computer to get access to the information. If you are out and about, providing you have access to the internet, you can access your system.
Now I’m not suggesting doing that when you’re in the middle of the Caribbean (it tends to annoy the family), but in theory, you could! #justsaying!