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Features to Consider When Choosing the Best CRM Software in 2018

In today’s current market prospective customers have high expectations of an online crm platform.  Users who once could suffice with a simple spreadsheet or email chain to share information now expect automated tracking for communications and leads.

In industries where staff isn’t all located at one office, CRM applications are becoming a must have for operation. The ability to access data from anywhere for a sales team has always been at the forefront of a CRM, however the best CRM software in 2018 is more forward thinking and expands to more than just communications regarding sales.

Client Relationship Management systems are designed to help streamline processes for businesses, thus increasing their profits and decreasing their workloads.  A comprehensive and effective online CRM can make a huge difference in customer retention and ease of workflow – but a CRM that doesn’t serve your business can become a useless investment. Choosing a CRM that’s right for your team can be a time consuming process, so consider these features when making a decision.

 

CRM Software in 2018

 

An effective online CRM is easy for customers and employees to use.

It’s nearly pointless to invest in a system that your employees can’t or won’t use.  When a mobile CRM platform is hard to navigate, employees are less likely to continue to use it.  If employees can’t easily perform tasks required, any new CRM system will quickly be seen as more of a hassle than a tool that improves job performance.

With an easy to use interface customers can easily input requests and employees are able to access the information needed to complete those requests at the touch of a button.  Employees don’t appreciate having extra steps added to their daily to routine.  An intuitive approach to design is essential in an online CRM to help employees feel more confident in implementing the new processes.

 

The Best CRM Software of 2018 is accessible from anywhere.

The fast paced and competitive world of business means that accessibility is a more common expectation than it used to be.  CRM platforms that do not support mobile and remote access fail to leave a good impression with customers on job sites and prospective customers in the field with sales agents.

An online system that has CRM applications and is cloud based proves to be most effective.  The ability for field staff to log on to an application and record their notes for the job or sales call is invaluable when it really counts.  Also, the use of contractors and remote workers isn’t a concern for an online CRM that you can access from anywhere.

 

Online CRM Platforms must have a dedicated and reliable support team.

Almost all online CRM software has a ticketing system which they use to provide their users with support.  Many of those users report long response times and other various frustrations with that form of support for an online CRM.

Having various channels to reach out for support when a CRM experiences technical issues is vital.  Companies who provide support through phone and online chat are preferred to those with just a ticketing system.  Choosing a company with various support channels for their CRM software can help eliminate down time and help keep you on top of your workload.

 

Reporting features in an online CRM are vital to maintaining client relationships.

All client relationship management systems are designed to collect data to help improve the customer experience, but not all CRMs have the capability to help users analyze that data.  Real time reporting built into an online CRM can help managers stay on top of customer requests and can help sales teams keep track of their leads more effectively.

Without an integrated reporting feature, employees would be left to sift through the data and draw their own conclusions.  Reporting and analytics are must have features for the best CRM software in 2018.  They ensure employees can accurately interpret and analyze information.

 

Online CRM software that allows for easy invoicing and estimates helps streamline processes.

Customers that are entered into the CRM system have a need for the business to fulfill.  Sometimes they are a prospect, other times they need support with a service or product they have already purchased.  For some businesses, clients need a repair or an install when their information is inputted.

All of these customers have one thing in common.  They need help with something.  More often than not, what they need help with also has an associated cost.  Customers enjoy the ease of receiving a professionally presented cost estimate quickly.  Employees appreciate being able to populate the estimate with just a few clicks.  Some online CRM systems go above and beyond by offering a payment processing option built in.

 

The Best CRM software of 2018 must be customizable to the meet the needs of any business

No small business operates in the same way.As such, a good CRM system will have the flexibility to account for that.  Whether it be when and where an action takes place or just the words used to describe a product or service, an online CRM system that allows for custom fields is essential in 2018.

When an online CRM software allows for customizable templates and reporting the usability is increased.  Customized reporting and invoicing can help others find information later or in the event that someone new gets added to the project.  Customizing fields and templates is common practice in 2018 and the best CRM must have those capabilities.

 

Client Relationship Management software is expanding to meet the needs of service industries.

It’s expected to continue to expand further as demand for highly effective CRM systems increase.  Businesses who adopt the use of an efficient online CRM can expect to see increased profits and customer satisfaction from easy to use features.

As more features are added, CRM software will continue to become more essential for day to day operations.  Inventory tracking, appointment setting and GPS locating for employees on their way to service a customer are among added features that are now giving CRM platforms an edge over their competitors.

 

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