Sales | May 31, 2013

Best Small Business CRM

Customer Relationship Management for Small Business

Far too often small businesses get started without much more than notepads, spreadsheets and maybe Quickbooks.  While these basic tools can help for the first year or two, creating an awesome client experience that is repeatable requires a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.  Find the best small business CRM system can be a challenge for local business owners heavily involved in serving clients.

How to choose the best small business CRM for your business

Far too often, CRM companies get small business owners and their leadership teams involved in comparing features and benefits before understanding why CRM is important.  So start by identifying what you want a client experience to look like for your clients and what your small business offers that makes their experience unique.  Are you the only one of all local plumbing contractors to provide licensed plumbers onsite six weeks after a repair to make sure everything is still operating as expected?  Maybe you’re the only home remodeling contractor to provide your client before and after videos of their home renovation?  Determine what it is you do that is unique in your local market and make sure the client experience assures your success in this area.

So what is meant by the client experience and why is selecting the best small business CRM so important?  This is where you gain a major advantage in your local market.  When you understand the experience your clients go through and can work to make it better and better over time, you will win more loyal clients and raving fans.  For instance, when a future client begins looking for your services, what do they experience when they find you – your local websites and social media pages, your photos and videos, your client testimonials and reviews?  Staying very close to the step by step client experience is very important.  This should be documented and understood by everyone in your business.

Where does a small business CRM come in?

When a local business has the best small business CRM and it is being properly utilized by their team to create the ultimate client experience, much of the client communication process can be automated.  For instance, we have clients who use CRM for consistent communication from the owner and leaders of the business to clients.  In many cases, local business owners would prefer to be able to type and send an email to every potential client to learn about the experience they went through to choose or not choose their local business.  CRM systems allow you to do this by allowing the small business owner to create the message he or she wants to send and making sure that message is sent specifically to each client or potential client and personally with scheduled intervals.  In most cases, our clients prefer to send an email to a potential client within 30 minutes of their call or other form of inbound inquiry.  With CRM workflows, this is an automated process that happens every time.

What are my choices?

This can vary in many ways.  First, there are the industry specific small business CRM systems designed specifically for industry needs.  For instance, many local landscaping contractors choose applications like Boss or Real Green.  While these CRM systems tend to work well for production teams, they sometimes lack with the client experience.

Some of the best small business CRM systems on the market today are, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Zoho CRM, Sugar CRM and many others.  If you are looking for the best small business CRM for your local business, it is important to make sure the software was designed for your desired client experience and your team will use it to create the ultimate client experience.

Although many CRM systems work for small business needs, we have seen Zoho CRM work very well for many local businesses because of Zoho’s suite of affordable, cloud-based services for finance and accounting, project management, recruiting, reporting and most importantly is client communication.  To learn more about finding the best small business CRM for your local business, call Social180 at 469-420-0180.