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There is possibly no better CRM resource on the web than crm.itoolbox.com. A comprehensive CRM resource, itoolbox will explain in detail all facets of CRM software in a way that is easy to comprehend. Whether you are a novice online business owner or a seasoned e-store veteran, you will benefit from their information on customer relationship management software.
There are several CRM software packages out there that allow document storage online. One of the more popular, enterprise CRM software packages, SalesForce, is flexible enough to allow you to categorize your internet business projects and contacts as well as upload documents in a secure environment, allowing access to only those you feel need to view them. SalesForce is set up for mid to large sized companies, but is affordable enough to implement for a small, growing online business as well.
What is CRM? There are two basic genres of CRM: Locally hosted and Remotely Hosted. In a locally hosted CRM, you configure the customer relationship management software to work exactly as you wish. However, the drawback is that a high level of technical expertise is required for the configuration. The other choice, a Remote Hosted CRM solution, handles all the technical needs on their side and hosts the application for you. Of course, if your internet connection goes down you can not access your records for editing (though many offer a sync ability that will synchronize your customer relationship management data with a palm pilot or Outlook). For novices and pros alike, a remote hosted CRM will usually solve all your online business needs and keep you out of the technical business.
Customer relationship management software handles a variety of functions. Depending on the CRM solution you purchase, you can do everything from handle customer service tickets, marketing campaigns, sales automation and business analytics. What it really brings to the table is the ability to, from one console, see a full snapshot of how your e-store is doing at any moment from a sales, customer service and profitibility perspective.
As your business grows, it becomes more difficult to manage all the customers you gather over time. What we recommend is using a crm solution. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it does just that. Imagine not only having your customer list, but a history of their purchases and your dealings with them at your fingertips. While a decent CRM solution will cost a little more per month, the time you save and the ability to analyze your online business will pay off in spades.
While newsletters are an excellent way to keep contact with your internet business customers, it really only scratches the surface of what you need to do to nurture your customer relationship. With a customer relationship management package, you can take your relationship and business web site to new heights. What is CRM you ask? CRM software allows you to manage all facets of your customer relationship (including a newsletter mailing list) but with exacting detail. Imagine being able to take customers who purchased a specific set of products from your e-shop and send them a specific newsletter. With the right CRM solution, you can!
First, your CRM should be in business for several years and have a physical address you can reach them at. This ensures that the CRM solution provider is not going to disappear overnight…with all your data. Second, a good CRM software package will allow a user to scale their service up or down as needed without major fee penalties. Lastly, and most importantly, your chosen CRM solution should be easy to use. You should not need a masters in computer science to enter and retrieve data. Keeping these three tips in mind should help you pick a reputable CRM that your e-store can use for years.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|