Contact management today is so much more than just saving and accessing contact information. Gone are the days when that Rolodex on your desk was all you needed to keep track of your business contacts.
In a world of multiple channels of communication, a more evolved system of contact management is the need of the hour. In fact, contact management has become an integral feature of modern day CRM systems.
Online contact management software allows you to store and retrieve not only the contact info of a lead but also the history of all interactions. And, this is just one of the many advantages on offer!
There are many ways in which an online contact manager can contribute to your bottom line through increased efficiency and better customer service. Let’s have a look at the five major benefits it brings to the table.
Benefits of an Online Contact Manager
More Organized & More Efficient
A ready online database where information is truly at your fingertips lets you be more efficient. Most online contact managers automatically add a lead to your contact list if a potential customer fills out a lead generation form in your website.
You can then organize your leads by organization, by the stage of the sales process they are at or any other appropriate category that allows you immediate access to the information that you need, when you need it.
Since updating the system is easy to do at a moment’s notice, you can also be sure that you always have access to the latest information related to a particular contact.
Not only does this save valuable time by organizing data properly, but the backup feature of an online contact manager protects you against any loss of your vital data bank.
Improved contact management also increases efficiency on all other spheres of business communication activity. Who would pass up this chance for an overall hike in productivity?
Improved Customer Service
An online contact manager allows you to record every interaction you’ve had with a contact - whether over the phone, via email or at a personal meeting. You can pull out all this information within seconds as and when required.
And since you can store all information relevant to a particular contact with ease you can track their profile and activities to know your customers better and thus anticipate their needs. This improves your ability to service clients and thereby enhance customer loyalty.
So the next time a client or a potential customer calls you, retrieve this interaction history and be completely prepared with all the relevant information to interact with your client.
You can really impress your leads by remembering your previous conversations. And this record also lets you anticipate the needs of your returning customers.
All of this translates into better customer service, which is key to customer retention and consequently - a profitable and thriving business.
Share Information Across the Organization
Business contact management solutions give you a centralized database accessible by all members of your firm. This allows greater integration across sales and marketing departments by knowing which employee has had contact with a lead in the past and what communication has taken place.
This contributes to greater efficiency, since you can avoid overlap in work and repeating the same communication that another colleague has already shared with a contact.
If an issue or a query related to a contact has already been resolved, that record is logged in a centrally accessible system for future reference. If your firm can function as a more cohesive unit through team collaboration, productivity and customer service can only improve.
And any worries you may have about not having enough control over the information flow are baseless because you can tweak the settings granting restricted access to some.
You certainly can’t lug your Rolodex with you everywhere. But with an online contact manager, you can access your contact database from anywhere so long as you have an Internet connection.
So just because you’re travelling on the job, don’t let that stop you from updating your online address book or pulling up all the information that you need. Especially when multiple personnel are working together on an account, synchronization of data ‘on the go’ is the need of the hour.
Many contact management programs are based on the cloud and can be easily synced across multiple devices. So not only can you access and update the data from wherever you are, you can use your mobile phone or your tablet to do so.
Many contact management software programs offer additional tools such as task flow management, reports and pie charts, email integration, calendars and scheduling functions, which make the workflow much more streamlined and easy to monitor.
You can track meetings, emails and follow ups to get a picture of how an account is being handled. Monitor the task flow of your sales personnel and ensure that everyone is on top of their responsibilities.
This feature of an online contact manager allows for a more efficient lead tracking with timely communication with contacts that can really go a long way towards boosting sales.
With an organized task flow system in place, you won’t ever forget to respond to a query or miss a deadline to send out a quote.
Choosing the Right Contact Manager
There are many programs available out there for you to choose from. But there are some key factors to keep in mind while opting for an online contact manager.
1. Pricing: Many contact managers out there are free up to a certain limit of contacts and users beyond which they become paid. While evaluating price, keep in mind not just the cost per user/license but the duration of the contract and the ongoing costs to keep the program running.
2. Ease of use: Given that an online contact manager should be accessible and usable by many in the organization, it should be fairly easy to use across multiple devices.
3. Features: Figure out whether you’re just looking for a simple solution to store contact information along with notes on interaction with leads or add on tools such as email integration and workflow management.
Evaluate your needs and budget and you can certainly find the right contact management software for your business. Read some reviews and look at a comparative analysis of features before making your decision.
In today’s competitive environment, your business needs an edge to drive your sales and boost profits. Organizing your contacts, including potential and existing customers, and tracking the different stages in the sales process can be quite challenging and time consuming especially if you have to constantly compare notes with other employees working on the same account.
That’s where contact management software steps in and makes life easier. Not only does it allow you to organize your data in a secure manner it boosts the efficiency of your sales team’s workflow and enhances overall productivity. This further leads to cost savings and increased profits through better customer service and retention.
Managing customer relationships efficiently is a significant differentiator in today’s competitive business environment. Just ensure that you stay a step ahead with an online contact manager!