Top 5 CRM Management Software in 2019

Customer relationship management (CRM) is essential for companies of all sizes as a business strategy. CRM encompasses a wide area of interactions and activities between a company and its customers. As a business strategy, it helps in understanding the customer, retaining them, attracting new ones, and winning new deals, thereby increasing profitability, but also decreasing customer management costs. The Internet and advances in technology brought about new CRM software that are scalable and customizable, with powerful engines for prediction, analysis, automation and streamlining of operations.

The Top 5

CRM software and applications are designed to help companies meet their goals of efficiently and effectively managing customer relationship. With advanced features, they not only help sales teams sell more, but really provide customers with the products and services they want. Some of the important features they should provide are automation for customer support, marketing and sales. Reporting and analysis are critical features also for monitoring on key performance indicators. They should also have tools for managing data, worklfow, and/or inventory, while allowing for customization, integration, mobility and others. Here is our list of top 5 CRM solutions that businesses can start with.

Different Kinds of CRM Systems & Software Solutions

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be extremely useful to both small and large businesses where customer management is concerned. The system allows the company to better serve clients and customers, as well as potential clients/customers, by putting together information from different departments of the company and presenting them in a cohesive manner.

There are different kinds of CRM systems & software solutions available to companies. Here is a brief explanation of each.

Operational

This kind of CRM system focuses on using software applications which help incorporate the various sets of information available on each customer into one useful file. For example, it will bring together a client’s contact information, purchase history and any previous communication they have had with the company on one web page so that the employee can provide them with rapid service and response. This kind of CRM software solutions provides a support center to the sales, marketing and customer service departments. It can also be used to help the next type of CRM system, Sales Force Automation.

Sales Force Automation

This CRM system will keep a record of every stage of the sales process, helping employees automate activities like making reports, scheduling calls and mailings.

Analytical

Analytical systems will look into customer data from an analytical angle to better come up with sales and marketing strategies that can be effective for future sales. They will look at data from all the different databases, and then by using techniques like data mining, will come up with patterns and trends. This allows the company to look at the data from the wider angle, allowing for better creation of long term strategies for sales and customer management.

Collaborative

Collaborative systems focus on integrating external contacts – like vendors and distributors – and providing data to its customers through an extranet. This allows the customers to be proactive about improving the service they get from the company, by providing them with a support center, new tools, and technologies like instant messaging.

Campaign Management

This is a combination of Analytical and Operational systems as it can store, analyze and track the various campaigns the company has. It can also be effective in targeting specific types of customers by sending emails, calling them or sending them marketing emails with special offers.

Sales Intelligence

This is similar to an Analytical system, but is used as a sales tool for employees who can look at trends and sales performance.

 

Understanding The Different Levels of Help Desk Support

IT_HELP_DESK

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood? If there’s something weird and it don’t look good? If you’re seeing things running through your head? An invisible man sleeping in your bed? Who you gonna call? … What if you need to reset your password, the printer doesn’t work, you can’t update adobe reader, you can’t access the network, or your computer freezes? Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?! No! Thanks Ray Parker, but no you gonna call the help desk.

As you may already know, and I hope that you know, the help desk is a critical part of customer service. These are the super heroes that fix the problems for your customers who are probably extremely frustrated. Resolving your customer’s issues, ASAP, greatly increases customer satisfaction, which, in-turn, positively impacts future sales. To put it another way, having an excellent help desk service impacts the life of your company. Typically reached via a toll-free phone number, help desk support is now using the web to support customers via chat tools and social networks.

Usually companies starting out use a single tier customer support system: a single point of contact to handle queries or solve problems. However, as a company grows they tend to need more than just a single tier model. This means they move to a multi-tiered support system.

For instance, if you are selling project management software to businesses, you could get queries like, I forget my username and password, what do I do? Or, how do I to deal with a bug that is preventing me from time tracking on an iPad. In the latter case, you need experts to solve this bug issue. While in the first case, a less complex query about usernames and passwords would not require a programmer. When you have proper tiers set up in your help desk support, it helps allocate support resources to meet customer needs.

Tier – I Support

This is the basic level of customer support. The customer representative is a generalist with a broad understanding of the product and may not understand the inner workings. In this case, they would identify a customer’s needs and provide tips on how to manage a problem.

Typically, these solutions are in a FAQ or a knowledge base. Employees at this tier use a knowledge base in a majority of customer calls. Tier-1 support usually provides a 24-hour service and is outsourced to a 3rd party. When a tier-1 support employee is not able to resolve the issue, they classify the problem and pass it on to the appropriate tier-2 employee. At this point, an issue tracking ticket is issued to the customer.

Tier – II Support

Tier-II support involves technical knowledge and is staffed by technicians who have troubleshooting capabilities beyond the tier-1 employees. The tier-II help desk employees are staffed by either the company involved or outsourced to a 3rd party. The technicians tend to have a specialization and will determine which specialization best matches the customer’s needs before helping him. If their technical specialization is one that can help the customer, the tech then determines whether this problem is a new issue or an existing one. Advanced diagnostic tools and data analysis may be done at this point.

If the issue is an existing one, the tier-II specialist then finds out if there is a solution or a workaround in the database. The customer is then told how to fix their problem. However, in some cases there might be no solution as it’s an open bug. In that case, the tier-II desk adds an entry to the bug list. Then, depending on the number of instances where customers are experiencing the same problem, the help desk could ask the developers to fix the bug.

If a customer experiences a new issue, further analysis has to be done to see if it can be dealt with. The help desk employee would then explain to the customer how to fix their issue. However, if the tech cannot fix the problem at this tier, the problem goes to tier-III. At this tier the problem is assigned to a developer at the company responsible for the product.

Tier – III Support

Tier-III requires a person who has specialized skills over and above the work the techs do in tier II. This support is usually provided by the specialists involved in product development. They deal with complex issues. To solve the problem, they will collect as much data as possible from the employees at tiers 1 and 2.

In my previous job as a developer at Microsoft in the Windows OS team, I used to get the harder bugs in the operating system passed on from support personnel around the world and from the crash dumps you report when an application stops working. Sometimes fixing the problem involves a deeper analysis of the operating system. Fixing the problem may require a Windows update.

Tier – IV Support

This tier only exists in a multiple vendor case. For instance, if you’re an app developer and the issue involves fixing the problem on an OS mobile level provided by another company, you simply request support from the other company.

Conclusion

Customer relationship management provides many benefits. Improving customer relations can lead to increase in revenues, opportunities for selling premium products, and understanding customer needs and behavior better. It also brings about improved internal communications within the company. CRM software is an essential tool in today’s competitive, interconnected world. It has use cases not only for managing customers but also for employees, vendors and other partners. Although every organization is unique in its needs, many CRM software solutions are available today that will address common basic requirements and also allow for flexibility and customizations. In addition, many CRM companies offer great client support, training materials to get started, and other services.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

1 Response

  1. John Bakiko says:

    Great post! Seen recently good newcomer, which pretty much meets up described features, and is quite competitive to described CRMs called EasyERP. Plus it`s open source, so it`s quite customizable (as those guys from support say), and it`s also free. Found it here easyerp.com. Hope you`ll find it useful too.

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