Online CRM Software For Small Business: Challenges In Choosing The Right Solution
Find out why you can’t survive without a CRM and how to choose the one that fits your business
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Thinking about taking your local business to a digital world? There are plenty of services fitting small budgets you can find on the web but making a choice wouldn’t be an easy task. Continue reading to be aware of pitfalls on this road and how to decide well on the best possible tool.
There are a number of reasons why it is beneficial to have such a solution in place, and they all stem from the most important factor: customer service. This type of software provides a number of tools to manage your customer relations, including work order processing workflows, a database to store contact information, and a service history log to record any work done for a customer. In addition to tracking any touchpoint with your customers, this software will also help you find bottlenecks in the process and identify underperformers.
Modern technologies such as cloud-based CRM allow you to manage every area of your business over the Internet on any device and provide a host of benefits:
- Accurate data collection on a single platform
- A better understanding of customers' needs and behavior
- Ability to easily maintain current customers and grow their relationship with your company
- Integration with social media platforms and marketplaces.
- Cross-device access to historical data about customers and prospects
- Enhanced customer service by prioritizing customer needs and preferences
- Less time spent on administrative tasks
Business owners often compare the features offered by the software to find which option fits their needs. However, the most important thing to do when choosing a CRM is to determine your end goals. That is to have a precise understanding of why you need an automated system and what you want to get after its implementation.
Once you've taken these points into consideration, look at other factors that can influence your decision-making as well:
- Ease of use. Make sure that the tool is user-friendly for the people that will be using it. This is very important as it is designed for employees without deep technical knowledge.
- Ease of the learning curve. With so many different products coming out on the market all the time, it is hard to keep up with all the features and functions. If the company offers some sort of onboarding or training, then it usually means that you and your team will quickly learn how to use the software.
- Flexible customization. A mandatory attribute of a good online CRM software is the ability to customize elements of the system to the individual needs of your company. For example, you should be able to change the templates of documents or add custom fields without the help of developers.
- Smartphone-friendly. For business owners who are on the go, being able to comfortably access CRM information on the phone is a must.
- Access configuration. Data protection is crucial for your business security. That is, your new tool has to offer advanced access right set up so each employee will see the information that they need for their work only.
- Easy-to-Understand Dashboard: A CRM software system for small businesses should display your organization’s performance data in a clear and readable format.
Make a list of technical and functional requirements, and start working from there. Test several services together with your employees to select the most suitable one.
To evaluate the services you selected and determine the best option, follow these steps during the trial period:
STEP #1: Carefully read the program manual or other training materials.
STEP #2: Organize collective testing with your team — invite several employees to try out a new system.
STEP #3: Discuss with those involved what you expect to get out of the program. Make sure they are interested in finding a service that will make their job easier.
STEP #4: Clearly communicate what you need to focus on during testing: which functions are of higher and lower priority.
STEP #5: List the criteria by which you will compare the results of the team "testers" with the performance of those employees who have not used a new CRM.
STEP #6: At the end of the trial, discuss the whole process with your team: what they liked and what not so much, what challenges they faced, what they didn't understand, etc.
STEP #7: At the end, compare the results of employees who tested the product with those who worked as they used to.
When it comes to choosing the right CRM solution for your small business, the choices can be unlimited and complicated. The proven way to find such a tool is to first take some time to think about what is most important to you in CRM software. Once the goals and a set of priority features are identified, you'll be able to determine which solution offers the best fit for your business. This decision will most likely come down to their user-friendliness, support, onboarding services, price points, features, and customization options. But the final decision has to be made only based on your experience during the testing period.