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How Can Technology Help You In Business?

  New technologies offer opportunities for your business to increase sales to current customers, as well as to potential new customers. Most of these opportunities involve using software and the internet.  

    


Customer Relationship Management Software

  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is used to manage customer information and then use this information to develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with the customer. In addition to increasing sales to each customer, it can help provide customers receive a better overall experience from your business. This is because it allows you to personalise and target your communications so it is relevant and appealing to customers.

Your business gathers information during your interactions with customers. This information can come from many points of contact, including:
  • when customers click on your online advertising
  • when customers interact with a social media post, perhaps by ‘liking’ it or commenting on it
  • when you make a sale to a customer
  • when customers make phone or email inquiries
  • when customers respond to surveys
  • when customers make customer service requests
  • when customers make complaints
  A CRM system collects this information and makes it easy for you to access and use the information. It allows you and any member of your staff (who you allow access to the software) to know the past sales history and interactions with each customer, and therefore provide them with a high level of service. Even when you employ someone new, they will be able to interact with a customer as if they have been assisting them for years.

You can also use the information in a CRM system to target your promotions to particular customers. For example, if the system shows that, a customer usually purchases a particular product brand, the system can recognise this and send out relevant marketing materials whenever new arrivals of the particular brand come into stock. Effective CRM means you can take control of your relationship with customers to maximise sales.

CRM systems are also very useful in securing new customers. For example, if someone clicks on your advertising or makes an inquiry – creating a lead – the system can be set up to make sure that the lead is followed up in a timely manner.

A few examples of CRM systems are:   One way to choose a CRM system is to first find out what software options integrate with your accounting software. If you use MYOB, Xero, or Reckon, you can do this using the following links:  

Automation Software

  Automation software can be used to make some processes happen automatically. This is extremely useful when it comes to maintaining the relationships you have with your customers. It is also very useful if you would like to target promotions and communications to particular customers.

How it works is that you set it up to do a particular task if (and only if) a particular event or action occurs. For instance, the software may be instructed to send customer a ‘thank you email’ with a voucher attached if they make a purchase over a certain value. This will happen automatically when the sale is made.

One of the great benefits of some automation software is that it can integrate with other software, including software which does not usually integrate together. Consider the situation where you are choosing a CRM system and an inventory system – it makes sense that both of these systems will work together with your accounting software. After all, each time a new sale is made, inventory records should be updated and the sale details recorded in the CRM system. In the same way, it helps if other software such as forms on your website, your email services, and survey software can integrate. Automation software can make this happen.

Here are a few examples of how you can use automation software to automate processes and integrate software:
  • When a potential customer fills out a form on your website, the software can instruct an email response to immediately be sent to the person, while also entering customer details into the sales pipeline of your CRM system.
  • When a potential customer is entered into the CRM system, their details can automatically be set up in your accounting software (ready for you to invoice them once they make a purchase).
  • A customer who makes an online purchase and ‘opts in’ to your email list can be automatically added to your Mailchimp database.
  • If a customer clicks on a product photo in a promotional email, two days later they can automatically be sent an email which showcases that particular product.
  • If a new customer makes a purchase, they can be sent a ‘welcome’ email along with a discount voucher which is valid for a short period of time (thus encouraging them to make another purchase very soon).

Automation software does the work involved in managing customer information and doing so in a timely manner. It allows you to ensure customers are only sent information and promotions that are relevant to them, thus improving the customer experience. In addition to improving efficiency, it frees you up so you can dedicate more time to the parts of the sales process that need an actual person. This allows you to effectively manage a larger number of customers at the same time.

Examples of automation systems are: