When it comes to choosing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, it’s almost impossible for newcomers to fully understand all of the differences between all of the different solutions available.
Nowadays, solutions tend to be much more than a CRM/customer database. They are integrated with aspects like ticketing systems, integrated forms, digital signing tools and website integrations.
When deciding on which CRM to go for, at the very least, here are the 5 essential things that need to be considered:
- Where is the data hosted?
- Is the data encrypted when it is transferred?
- Is there a mobile phone apps as part of the solution – including the ability to work offline?
- IS there an open API to connect to other business systems like Xero, Woocommerce, Insights (Broker App)
- There should be little to no downtime
- A fast response from the system is a must.
3. Functionality that should be considered:
- Contact us form must connect directly to your CRM (WordPress, GravityForms)
- Digital signing that syncs with your CRM
- Electronic forms that sync with your CRM
- Effective help desk and ticketing system
- Email integration
- Flexible and advanced automation (eg. contract renewal reminders based on contract expiry dates)
- Auto response to customers
- Advanced Reporting and dashboards with scheduled email updates
- Chat integration
- A Marketplace for integrating out of the box with many other applications (eg. Phone and SMS integration)
- Fully customisable to match business requirements perfectly.
- You should look for a wide variety of functionality that doesn’t cost you more every time you ask for a new feature
- Also, flexible licensing options (no lock-in contracts)
- A payment option for annually or monthly if desired.
5. Implementation Support
It’s important that the CRM you choose has access to an implementation partner that listens and:
- Can run a process mapping session – outlining all the steps of your business processes, so that you are able to ensure that the CRM covers everything you need it to.
- Advises you about what applications (out of the many that are available) are needed for your process map
- Prepares documentation and delivers training
- Provides ongoing support post implementation.
The most important aspect when choosing a CRM solution provider is experience. That they know what they are doing, have implemented the recommended solution many times and knows what works and what doesn’t.
This blog was contributed by A1CRM, a CRM solution provider specialising in business process mapping and implementation, primarily using a variety of Zoho applications.