An efficient contact data management tool can be your organization’s best business investment.

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Every organization, no matter the size or stage in its development, has generated a set of contacts that could include customers, suppliers, staff or supporters. Unfortunately, not every organization has developed an efficient way to manage and communicate with that list of contacts. That’s where an efficient online contact data management tool can not only save your business, but make sure it continues to grow and thrive. Here are five tips to finding and using a CRM software that will help you succeed in business.

  1. Find the contact data management software solution that fits your needs.

    So many organizations are tempted by the “be-all/end-all” software tools on the market, but managers should take a careful look at their day-to-day needs and assess contact management solutions according to the business tasks regularly undertaken by the company. Capterra has published a useful guide to selecting software that best fits your needs. Many smaller or growing organizations do not require all the bells and whistles of some CRM software versions, or may never need to manage hundreds of thousands of data records. When considering a subscription to a contact management solution compare the features offered against the requirements of the company and choose accordingly. Sometimes greater complexity just leads to rejection by staff, so the best contact database software is easy to learn, and simple to use, especially for smaller businesses or non-profits where staff may have to perform more than one role. As well, consider affordability – contact data management solutions like Contact Boss are both affordable and easy to learn. Be sure to ask for a trial subscription or software demo to help you make the best choice in a contact data management tool.

  2. Make the best use of your contact data management software.

    One you have chosen your CRM software, it’s not enough to simply install it and let staff know. A solid contact data management strategy should be developed so that all team members are well equipped to use it and understand the potential of the CRM software tool. Make it clear if the CRM is meant primarily to maximize customer relationships, and be sure the users are aware of the other features that may be included, such as event management or reminder creation tools. If the CRM you choose offers a mobile app version, ensure that all members of the team download it so they can easily access and manage contact data while away from the office.

  3. Make sure your contact data is secure.

    Everyone has heard the horror stories of data breaches and every company takes seriously the importance of protecting important records. A cloud-based CRM platform promises a secure location that is accessible only to authorized representatives. A web-based contact data management software can also ensure fast and efficient access to large amounts of data, with no need for on-site storage and the related risks of data loss.

    As well, take a look at the log-in and authentication processes offered by the CRM software tool – administrators will need an efficient means to control and manage authorized access. The login process to the best contact data management software for small business should be secure but not unnecessarily complex.

  4. Optimize your CRM software with regular refreshers and updates.

    Don’t just install your client relationship management software and walk away. A good contact data management strategy will allow for regular refresher sessions, so that staff can be aware of software updates and be reminded of extra features that could add value to their day-to-day work life. Some CRM software providers like Contact Boss offer training sessions to help organizations maximize their efficient use of their subscription.

    As well, practice good data hygiene by cleaning out contact records that are no longer current, and updating data points such as email addresses or phone numbers. Using a cloud-based contact data management system provides a real-time version of data records, eliminating contact duplication and inaccuracies.

  5. Make sure your communications with contacts in your database are useful and to the point.

    Once you have your contact data organized and your CRM solution all set up, give careful consideration to exactly when and what you want to communicate to your customers. Just because you can search and sort and create brilliant targeted lists doesn’t mean you should be reaching out every day or communicating useless or meaningless information with your contact management software. Analyze the response to each communication to learn which subject lines generate higher open rates, and which topics are of interest.

    Your contact data management software can also be your best means to provide top-notch customer service through analysis of feedback and your enhanced ability to reach out efficiently. For example, Contact Boss customer relationship management software can even search the contact data notes field providing a great amount of intelligence as to customers concerns and needs.

If you are still looking for the best customer data management software, remember to consider suitability for your operation as well as affordability. If you already manage your data with an online system, be sure to optimize your subscription and keep staff up to date on new features. It is very apparent that organizations can no longer rely on simple spreadsheets or stacks of business cards to stay in touch with customers, suppliers, staff and supporters – an appropriate and efficient contact data management system will certainly lead to success for your business.

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A consummate communicator, Carol Horne has undertaken a variety of content creation projects over the past few decades. She supplied, assigned and edited copy for the majority of Tourism PEI’s consumer content. She led the marketing team at Confederation Centre where she developed marketing and communications strategies to enhance awareness and generate revenue for the theatre, gallery, restaurant and gift shop. In her role as Chief Marketing Officer she oversaw the development and execution of marketing, graphic design, social media, communications and PR, sales, development and guest services activity plans. As manager of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s online media centre and the US consumer E-Newsletter she was in charge of creating and curating Canada’s tourism promotion content.

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