Customer Retention Management Software…What the hell is that and why do I need it?

As business owners, we are always searching for new customers.  We go to networking events week after week, and talk to anyone or everyone who will listen to our elevator speech.  We make phone calls, send flyers, anything to get the attention of our target market.  We work tirelessly day after day to gain new clients.  Once we get all these new clients, how do we keep track of all of the phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, mobile phone numbers, social media profiles, and tons of other information.

In today’s world everybody has several phone numbers, email addresses, and countless social media profiles.  When you are tracking even just 10 customers, you have to get the contact info right.  Every time you speak with one of your customers you want to give them a one of a kind experience.  That is not an easy task in today’s world.  You have to be creative, and possibly willing to pay for software that puts this information at the tip of your fingers.  There is software, and apps that promise to be the top notch customer retention management software on the market.  With so many choices how do you choose without just wasting your money.  No one can really answer this except for you.  As with anything you can’t just assume that everything will do as promised.  You will never know what features work best for you unless you try them out.

There are a few easy steps to determine which CRM software will work best for you.  Here is a few suggestions to weed out the best ones from the not so good ones.

1.  Every CRM promises organization, easy searchable databases, and information with the click of a button or two.  Find one that gives you more of the features you need, or something that is customizable.  If you are a mechanic, you need a database that will help you track services for each customer.   You will need a CRM Software that allows you to customize your database.

2.  Chances are you are not going to be familiar with all the different ways to use a CRM software.  Look for something that gives you a trial offer.  Something that will allow you to use all the features of your software, customize it, and really make it your own.  A free 30 day trial is probably the best your going to do, and quite honestly you really only need 14 days or less to determine if it works for you.

3.  Figure out what price you want to pay for your software, then stay below that.  If you have trouble finding something that is in your budget, you may be looking at a price range that doesn’t exist and may need to adjust a bit.  Try to get an average for a few different ones that offer the features most important to you.

4.  If you are not technologically savvy you might want to stay away from the ones where you have to build the database yourself.  Stick to CRM that already has the database built, and you just need to add the information, as long as it is the information you need.  Some of them are somewhat generic so they can work for many types of businesses, large or small.  Some have additional options that are more industry specific that you might have to pay an additional fee for.

5.  Don’t forget to look at some of the software programs you are already using.  Some of them have a built in database, that allows you to keep all the information you need.  For example, QuickBooks has a great CRM built into it.  You can attach documents, save addresses, phone numbers, invoices, contact info, and lots of other things.  It also has a calendar that you can keep schedules on or pay bills.  It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use it but it is only as good as the information you put into it.  Microsoft Outlook if you use that can be used as a CRM as well, if you have a small database.  So make sure to review what you are currently using before shelling out big money for something that maybe you just aren’t quite ready for.

6.  Don’t be afraid to hire someone to help you learn how to use your software.  Sometimes just having someone show you a few key things will have you using the software and wondering what you ever did without it.  Hiring someone to teach you, or paying for a class with a knowledgeable professional can save you time, money, and frustration.

This is just a few ways to find a good software that every business in my opinion should be using.  Remember one important thing, a happy customer is a returning customer.  Sometimes we look at things that we aren’t really sure we need or maybe just not willing to spend the money, but in some cases it can be the difference between keeping a customer or losing a customer.

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