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Your CRM Solution and Support Tracker: A Walk Down the Aisle to Happily Ever After

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Nowadays, a business with a long list of paying customers, leads and potential clients is technically in limbo without the efficient use of CRM. (And yes, CRMs have gotten social, too. But that’s a story for another day.) For the uninitiated, CRM is a tool that is used to track, manage, automate and analyze information regarding a company’s clients. Having the software in place allows you to move and share data across departments to better serve your customers’ needs. With CRM, knowing the people you do business with is as easy as a few mouse clicks.

Your CRM Solution and Support Tracker: A Walk Down the Aisle to Happily Ever After image crmCRM (customer relationship management) software, cloud-based or on-premise, can go high end, low end, and everything in between. That means choices ranging from SAP to Sage CRM to GoldMine and Nimble – really, there’s a wide selection and one that’s bound to fit your budget while addressing your company’s specific needs is a definite possibility.

APIs and software interoperability 

API (application programming interface) – a set of standardized requests created for programs to communicate with each other

Now, imagine yourself in a business engaged in software development. Regardless of the size of your company, chances are you have at least three departments working together to keep the business going: sales, marketing and IT support. With shared data, your people are better able to interact with and service your customers’ concerns. Easier said than done, you might think, especially if you’re using, let’s say, SalesForce for sales and marketing and another specialized software for IT helpdesk support, as an example, from Comindware.

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Essentially, you have two different software for the same set of customers, which, needless to say, requires that you switch from one application to another when interacting with them, that you update two different trackers after every client interaction.

Using API to join together web-based services, SalesForce data integration with your current IT support application results in one record for each customer. This way, when a customer calls in for help, you can cut to the chase and immediately get down to business because everything you need to know (contact information, products purchased, previous support trackers, etc.) is in one place.

APIs and data integration 

Data that is organized, structured and easily quantifiable can go a long way, especially for businesses that thrive on such. Having separate solutions for separate departments should not deter you from providing the best possible experience to the very people who keep you and your company in business. With APIs, not only are you provided with synchronized data that leverages exceptional customer satisfaction, you get enhanced workforce collaboration and engagement as well – a win-win for both sides of the equation.

Image courtesy of nokhoog_buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments on this Article: 2

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  1. If I might make a suggestion: It is almost ALWAYS better for a company to have CRM before getting CRM software. Now, what do I mean by that?

    Above, Maricel defined CRM as it is defined for “CRM software”. That, indeed, is a software tool, but it facilitates the underlying strategy (or CRM). Without a strategy in place to interface with your customers, move them through the sales cycle, and maintain a relationship of loyalty, the CRM software can do little good.

    It is really important that you set an internal CRM strategy, then look for CRM software like JobNimbus (http://www.jobnimbus.com) or SAP or Salesforce (well, maybe not Salesforce).

    Few CRM implementations will succeed by purely jumping in without a strategy. If you want to invest successfully in CRM software, first invest in CRM strategy.

  2. Maricel Rivera says:

    Hey, Brad, thank you for visiting and for the comment. I was talking about CRM software, and not CRM (the strategy), as you rightly said, in the article above.

    Much as I believe that CRM software and CRM don’t have to be mutually exclusive and should actually be taken in the same context because, indeed, CRM software cannot be properly implemented without a strategy, I understand your point. You were pointing out that CRM should not be confused with CRM software.

    Rest assured I’ll be more specific next time. Thanks again!

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