By Richard Rands, Hosted IT Product Manager, Outsourcery

Customer Relationship Management. Three words that businesses must consider in today's challenging economic environment as engaging and developing client relationships is the only business strategy that will help businesses survive in these uncertain times. CRM. Three letters that deliver a cost effective, customer centric solution incorporating sales, marketing and customer service activities to control the entire life-cycle of a client.

Whether you refer to the three words or the three letters, the base premise is the same; engaging with existing and new customers to develop strengthened relationships is crucial to deliver competitive advantage for your business. So the question is, how can a Hosted CRM solution help your business to achieve this strategic goal?

1. Allows you to get to know your clients

Microsoft CRM 4 has been specifically designed to provide businesses with the ability to develop deeper relationships with clients through the clear visibility of all client facing activities. Being able to monitor and track all interactions with clients is invaluable as it provides a clear picture of the requirements of each individual customer, their preferences, the relationship and activity history to enable businesses to better meet the individual needs of clients based on past interactions.

2. Enables you to tailor your marketing activities

Utilising the analysis functions of CRM 4.0 is invaluable in identifying client trends, sales and demographic information to enable marketing messages to be targeted more effectively to existing clients and potential clients. The marketing automation solutions employed within CRM software allow for the segmentation of prospect/customer data management, email distribution of core marketing messages, storing of marketing content for quick deployment, and the real-time tracking of all communication activities to ascertain the Return on Investment of each campaign.

3. Empowers departments to effectively work together

Often the requirement for departments to work effectively together to meet the needs of the business can fail at the first hurdle as every team has a preferred method of storing information, interacting with clients and employing workflows to achieve the department goals set. CRM systems combats this by providing a solution that works effectively across sales, marketing and customer service channels to empower the teams to work together through automated workflow tools, tasks, forms and project management initiatives.

4. Keeps a clear audit trail for compliance

In a world which has seemingly gone litigation mad, ensuring full compliance in relation to data protection and service delivery is crucial for businesses. Hosted CRM enables businesses to keep a comprehensive audit trail of all documentation distributed to clients, all services purchased and all interactions between core departments and the end client. No longer does time have to be wasted trawling through files, emails and historical systems as CRM 4.0 ensures this information is readily accessible for use as and when required.

Outsourcery, as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, understands the benefits that a Hosted CRM solution brings to businesses of all sizes. Videos, whitepapers, case studies and a free trial of Microsoft CRM 4.0 are available at Outsourcery.co.uk

Find out more at www.outsourcery.co.uk

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