Second, training is essential and must encompass the company to ensure that all levels of personnel will embrace the new system and understand the genuine need for it and the real goal of what you are trying to achieve with your new CRM software solution.
Some CRM software options for small and medium sized businesses
For small and medium businesses, the most common customer relations management software request is for anything that enhances online communications and improves the time between a customer complaint or question and resolution of the issue for them.
For many companies, there are software solutions that can be purchased or downloaded to be used through their Internet website for basic services such as online customer support through live chat and customer assistance with online purchasing that is both efficient and relatively inexpensive. If your need is primarily to improve sales volume, improve response to customer questions and complaints and to make your company website more personalized, look into these solutions that are at the lower end of the price spectrum while providing solid CRM products:
o LivePerson offers two different versions, Basic and Enterprise that provide live chat, email and a variety of interactive forms customized to meet companies’ needs for customer relations. This company has developed live chat solutions and online forms for everything from universities to financial services firms. This company provides a wide range of services, including online marketing, case studies, and software designed to improve online shopping cart capabilities.
o LiveHelper offers many of the same features, and adds real time traffic monitoring and other data assessment features as well. For the price, LiveHelper is a very good CRM software value.
o GroopZ includes customer routing software so that you can transfer entire chat strings from one customer service rep to another if you need be, along with an efficient filing system for chat transcripts and customer records. For improving customer relations, the software support suggests pre- and post-service questions for all customers who contact you.
Also included are templates you can set up with specific, pre-scripted answers to frequently asked questions in online chat to save customer service representatives time and make the process clearer and more efficient. This company does a bit more customizing on the front end to fit your needs, and pricing is adjusted accordingly.
o SupportWizard gives you three CRM options that give you some flexibility — you can buy, lease or let them host your customer service/relations solutions. Interactive FAQs, live chat, standard answers to frequent questions, and Boolean search capabilities to review past interactions all make this package extremely effective. SupportWizard also has more customizable features than some, including an “escalation alert” that can be tailored to specific situations when a supervisor would be notified if a customer service situation exceeds certain parameters.
This is one of the more expensive packages available, but rather than a monthly fee you are paying for lease or outright purchase options, so factor this into the cost. You will also get spectacular customer support and constant upgrades and patches when necessary. The integration of email, live chat and telephone information into one database is also a plus with SupportWizard.
o BoldChat offers free CRM software for online customer service chat that you can use for a limited time, and offers a $9.95/month and a $39.95/month customized version of their CRM software. Both offer live customer service chat, but one adds customized windows and more options on buttons and the number of available customer service reps you can add.
o CSLive offers the most comprehensive CRM software solution available for small and medium businesses, with live chat, email, and the usual customer service features you expect from a small business CRM solution, but with plenty of extras. CSLive also offers an extensive tracking and filing system, an Internet server site where you can upload and store files of customer help articles that customers can be referred to that can by emailed directly to clients by your reps. Throw in the message center and online meetings, and this is practically an enterprise sized solution at a small business price of $29.95 a month.
CRM software, whether on a monthly user basis or purchased outright and downloaded onto your own server, will make serving and understanding your clients and customers a more productive experience, and you will all be happier for it.