There are a lot of businesswomen who are running their own companies by themselves. With the explosion of online stores that provide services and projects that range from catering for a dinner party to shopping for your next house, it is becoming easier for stay-at-home moms to also own their own businesses or become independent contractors.
However, any woman who says that she owns, runs, and maintains her own business does so with a little help, even if it’s just the help of some great software. One of the most useful pieces of software (that often gets neglected) is called contact management software. At a glance, it may sound like a glorified Rolodex but, in reality, it is so much more than that.
Contact management software, otherwise known as customer relationship management (or CRM) software is incredibly helpful in helping your record information in regards to customer relations and marketing solutions for your business. Businesses that need this type of software interact with their customers and client on a regular basis and have many accounts and profiles to manage.
Choosing the Best Contact Management Software
1. Interaction Records
When looking for good CRM software, look for software that will allow you to record different types of interactions. Being able to log a phone call, e-mail, message, and/or meetings is important and can come in handy if you have to deal with legal issues or need clarification on past interactions.
2. Improved Customer Relations
Good CRM software will allow you to look back at previous interactions with customers and clients. Being able to review notes just before a meeting or during a phone call will allow you to help them in a more informed fashion.
Is the customer calling to complain about a product? You can look back and see if they’ve had problems like these in the past. You can also see if this person has a history of calling and complaining just before a warranty expires. You should also be able to take notes about preferences for the client and/or customer.
CRM software is good for both customer service issues and also helping with customer service relations and personalizing the experience for your customers.
3. Centralized Contact Management Databases for Your Company
If you’re the only person running and maintaining your company, then this may not be an issue for you but for those who have multiple computers and employees, look for business CRM software that is capable of centralizing contacts. This will allow for contact sharing through your network and you will be allowed to integrate e-mail, scheduling, contacts, and the other applications of your CRM no matter what computer you are using.
4. Streamlining Data
Depending on which software you choose, you can even compile information that has to do with your various clients, not to mention marketing activity, and details involving customer support. This not only allows you to be more efficient with sharing and compiling data, but it can streamline your graphs and data so that everything is easier to find and use.
5. Can Help You Save Money
Yes, you read that right. CRM software can help you save money in the long run. The ease and efficiency of a good program will soon help you pay for itself. You will be able to provide excellent customer service and interactions. It will help organize your information for you. You can utilize good CRM software for so many different uses. Information for your clients and your employees will be readily accessible which will save you and your company time (and everyone knows that time equals money).
6. CRM Software Comparisons
All right, well let’s talk about actual software programs. When looking at and reviewing CRM programs, I looked at various different features, tools, system requirements, and a general overall rating based on customer satisfaction. Below are the two programs which scored the highest on all accounts.
When I looked at features, I looked for programs which were able to integrate e-mail, help with website hosting duties, was accessible my mobile (phone and/or tablet), came with a schedule/calendar/todo list, was capable of contact & account notes, and had dialing capabilities (this comes in handy more than you know).
Top 2 Contact Management Software
As far as tools were concerned, I looked for software that was capable of creating reports, letterheads, mailing labels, real-time alerts, and compiling e-mail campaigns.
OnContact and Salesforce were my favorite by far because they had nearly all of the features and tools that any businesswoman can ask for, as well as the fact that they are compatible with nearly every system out on the market right now.
Authored by Josie Alexander