Customer relationship management, or CRM, refers to the system used by a business to manage relationships with its customers, staff, and suppliers. The CRM allows the data relating to these relationships, such as customer and prospect contacts, account and service information, and sales leads, to be stored in one central location.
This allows you to make customer relationships more personalized and tailored to your customers' needs.
Omnichannel customer relationship management
Most customers today expect omnichannel service. For instance, if they first contact you through email, but later call you on the phone, they don’t want to have to repeat themselves. As far as they’re concerned, they gave you all the relevant information in the email and it’s your responsibility to stay on top of their info.
For example, a customer first calls tech support but later needs to be transferred to the billing department. A cloud-based CRM software would allow the billing rep to see what happened during the tech support portion of the call without having to ask the client to repeat themselves.
While your company is small you might be able to get away with sharing this type of information over your company network – tech support and billing might be handled by the same team or even the same person. As you get larger, switching over to a cloud-based system is a must to keep customer conversations seamless.
A good CRM system grows with you
For a small company, the primary benefit of customer relationship management software is ease of information access.
You can view all your customer information from one dashboard. This 360-degree view of your customers helps you plan marketing campaigns and map out general strategy.
You won’t have to worry about important information falling through the cracks because someone forgot to write it down. It’s all there in your CRM system.
As your business grows, CRM software also features tools such as team-collaboration platforms, customized email and marketing message templates, as well as social media data management.
Many customer relationship management systems have a limited version that is free or available for a very small fee. You can upgrade as your business grows and requires more features.
The basic features of this CRM software are free. If you want more features, you can choose to upgrade to other plans they offer.
With the free version, you can store up to one million contacts and companies. It offers basic features such as:
- Contact management
- Gmail and Outlook integration
- Lead flows and analytics dashboard
- Sales email scheduling, templates, and tracking notifications
- In-app calls
2. Zoho CRM
This cloud-based customer relationship management software is free for up to 10 users and 1 GB of data storage. It offers a variety of features such as:
- Lead, contact, and account information
- Tasks, call logs, events, and notes
- CRM views and status updates
- Workflow automation
- Direct messages
- Integration with Twitter, Facebook, and Google+
- $12 per month for each user (billed annually)
- $15 per user (billed monthly)
- $20 per month for each user (billed annually)
- $25 per user (billed monthly)
- $35 per user per month (billed annually)
- $40 per user (billed monthly)
- $100 per user per month (billed annually)
This cloud-based program is free for up to 2 users, with 2500 free contacts and 200 MB of storage. It’s easily scalable as your business grows, and provides all you need to get started.
- Lead and sales management
- Task and project management
- Custom reports and charts
- Accounting integrations
- Mass emails (10 per day in the free version) and custom templates
- $29 per user per month (billed annually)
- $35 per user per month (billed monthly)
- $49 per user per month (billed annually)
- $59 per user per month (billed monthly)
- $99 per user per month (billed annually)
- $129 per user per month (billed monthly)
This cloud-based software provides a full-service CRM solution for small businesses. It’s highly scalable and easy to learn and use. They offer a free 30-day trial, after that it’s quite reasonably priced.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use, well-organized interface
- Customizable dashboard
- Real-time data summaries
- Contact and lead management
- Sales forecasting
- Workflow automation
- Multichannel customer support
- Wide range of third-party integrations
- Lightning Essentials
- $25 per month per user for up to 5 users (billed annually)
- Lightning Professional
- $75 per user per month (billed annually)
- Lightning Enterprise
- $150 per user per month (billed annually)
This program is designed for small businesses in the social media age. It comes with a free 14-day trial. It offers many features that gather customer information for you.
- Identifies contacts’ Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles
- Incorporates profile information so you don’t have to enter it manually
- Quick and easy set-up
- Syncs with Google Apps and Office 365 contacts, calendars, emails, and social interactions
- Team customer interaction management
- Mobile functionality
- Identify key contacts with smart search and segmentation
- Nimble Contact for Teams
- $9 per user per month (paid annually)
- $12 per user per month (paid monthly)
- Nimble Business Social Sales and Marketing CRM
- $19 per user per month (paid annually)
- $25 per user per month (paid monthly)
Managing your customer relations doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s a common misconception that CRMs are expensive and made for big companies. But even a small company can reap the benefits without breaking the bank.
Have you used any of these CRMs before? What do you think of them? Let us know in the comment box down below!