No matter what type of enterprise you're in, systematizing the history of customer interactions is a crucial step for providing a better client experience. This is where your business can't help without Contact Management Systems (CMS) for storing and tracking the processing of customer data.
Over the last 7 years, the frequency of CMS use on websites has grown by 75%. This means that Contact Management Systems are now more on trend than ever. However, to get the most value out of their use, it is crucial to trust the creation of such a chain to the right people as well as the proper software, like Salesforce – the market leader for CMS systems. Integrate it into your business processes and witness how smooth your communication with partners becomes.
Contact Management Systems' Key Features
The main benefit you get from Contact Management Systems integration is time-saving. Using this tool there is no need to gather and analyze data by yourself – contact management systems provide all data needed to make decisions based on reliable and precise information.
Among other features of CMS.
- Accumulation and saving of contact information. The system stores client data such as name, address, phone number, and email. Customers' data will be updated and added when your relationship improves and develops.
- History of customer interaction. Tracking every interaction in chronological order: emails, meetings, and calls.
- Import and export of customer data. While CRM used to be more of a data warehouse where information was entered manually, it now provides an opportunity to import contacts from various sources such as spreadsheets, email accounts, and even other CMS. The same applies to the export of data, which allows the client base to be used in other software products and applications.
- Data segmentation is another key feature of CMS systems. Companies need to be able to segment their contacts. It is necessary to simplify communication personalization and process management, including supply and sales, and it is also important for lead scoring and making decisions to change or implement new business and customer service processes.
- Analytics and reporting. The Contacts Management System allows not only to systematize but also to conduct a deep analysis for making managerial and business decisions. The ability to create personalized reports dramatically simplifies the process of analyzing the company’s activities.
Choosing The Right Contact Management System
At the initial stage of choosing a CMS, it is extremely important to determine what business goals it will help to achieve. On this depends its functionality and integration capabilities.
Step by step, consider how to choose a Contact Management System for your business.
Step 1: Define your business goals.
What do you want to achieve by integrating CRM into your work processes? Communicate your key objectives to the employees who will interact with them.
Step 2: Set the budget to purchase CMS.
Before purchasing, compare prices and software capabilities. Check the reviews and whole success stories of using CMS on the Internet.
Step 3: Learn about integration with other systems.
CMS is no longer just a database, but an ecosystem that facilitates building strong relationships with customers and partners. That's why interacting with marketing automation tools, websites or social media can significantly enhance customer relationships.
Step 4: Can the system scale?
If you expect your business to grow, your customer base needs to be able to expand. Pay attention to whether the option you are considering has this capability.
Step 5: Define the usability options and make a decision
A CMS should have a simple interface to adjust to your team's new software. It would be great to try out a trial version to evaluate the user experience against other CMSs fairly.
Types of Contact Management Systems
Depending on the needs of the company, there are different Contact Management Systems (CMS). One of the most popular are traditional CRM and cloud solutions.
Traditional Customer Relationship Management Systems
Traditional on-premise CRM systems can include a wide range of features and track different performance indicators of sales or other processes. But they are not very mobile and, as a result, cannot provide real-time data exchange between employees from anywhere in the world.
Cloud-based Contact Management Systems are hosted on remote servers. Interaction with them occurs through the Internet, which allows you to update and receive data in real-time. They offer scalability and automatic updates. In this case, you do not depend on specific employees who should update the databases promptly.
Today's world is increasingly leaning towards cloud-based solutions as they allow businesses to remain more agile and adapt to the diverse challenges of today.
How to implement CMS
- Identify the tasks and problems that should be solved with the software (e.g., increasing sales or retention)
- Involve stakeholders in training on the system: the sales department, HR specialists, and other employees who not only test the software but also provide input on how well it suits their needs.
- Clean and migrate your data. Before implementing a new CRM, adapt the organization of existing customer data. At first, it may take time to migrate the data into spreadsheets in a usable format. But it will make it easier to interact with customers later on.
- Customize the system to your needs, including data fields, user roles, rules and alerts.
- Integrate CRM with other software tools that your team uses. This can be the accounting software or the social platform management system.
- Configure data monitoring and analysis tools to regularly update customer and partner information.
- Ensure the client data is secure. Do not ignore customer data protection and follow all necessary security protocols.
- Optimize regularly. The convenience of a CMS lies in its adaptability. Conduct a traditional survey with employees using the software, get feedback on missing features, and improve the system to achieve even better results.
Common Challenges in CMS Implementation
You may face some challenges when implementing a Contact Management System. Here's how to prepare for them.
1) Using new software might be complicated
Some employees may need help with the CMS, leading to potential resistance and pushback.
The solution can be gradual system learning, online training, and explaining why this system is essential for your company. You can also give an example of how the introduction of CMS helped businesses in your industry become more successful or solve complex problems with customers.
2) The challenge of configuring individual processes
Perhaps some of the tasks you integrate with the CMS require more time to implement or customize. Consult with your CMS support team and your developers in advance. Orient your managers, determine how long it will take them to get the report or interaction they need and prioritize tasks. This will allow employees to accept delays in integration and timelines more easily.
3) Duplicate data when entering customer information
If system users enter data alone, there may be duplication. Therefore, it is crucial to allocate areas of responsibility to staff at the outset and instruct them to double-check that customer data is available in the system before adding it.
To avoid technical errors, monitor and check the system regularly, and if necessary, contact the support service. Do not forget that a specific person should be responsible for system performance. This approach will allow that person to be more responsible for system testing and anticipate possible problems.
Effective contact management is crucial for achieving business goals and scaling the company.
Therefore, choosing the right CMS will determine how easily and efficiently you manage your existing contacts and how quickly your base will be replenished with new ones. A CMS can help you solve your customer communication challenges and connect all the sites you come in contact with into one cohesive ecosystem. This implementation should result in solving problems you set out to solve at the beginning of your journey and satisfied customers who feel you care about them at different levels of communication.