Customer Relationship Management is more than just a type of software but it is also a way of caring for customers. It is a business strategy that will reduce costs, increase sales and improve profits through relationships. By making CRM your most important business strategy you'll see huge improvements quickly. Not only will you increase your profits, but you'll increase customer loyalty, as well as better employee relations too. People like working for companies who are customer centric in their strategies.
There are a number of resources for small businesses who are interested in CRM. It's important to realize that these resources aren't just software, because true CRM cares about not only the technology but the people and the process too. To really improve your over all CRM strategy it's important to avail yourself of as many resources as you have time to. Such as:
Social Media Resources
On Twitter you can use the hashtags #CRM and #SCRM to connect with others concerned or talking about CRM. There are also groups on Linkedin.com, and Facebook that discuss the issue in depth. Just do a search and you're sure to find plenty of social media resources to help you in your endeavors. Whether it's a Yahoo! Group, or a discussion board, getting social about CRM will improve your knowledge exponentially about CRM.
There are several places to search for CRM Apps, read reviews, and compare what the experts and users say about the software. Oftentimes you can even find an expert or consultant to help you choose the best CRM software for your type of business. It's important that you test out any software you plan to implement and have your entire staff and all stakeholders on board before investing in the new software.
Books and EBooks
There are many books you can purchase that gives information about CRM, but there are also free resources that shouldn't be overlooked such as the free EBook put together by the people at GetApp called: "Powerful Customer Relationship Management For Small Business" which can help you select the right tools and understand that CRM is so much more than the software. Reading as much as you can to educate yourself about any topic will help you succeed. It's completely free, you don't even need to provide an email address to get it.
Associations, Groups and Conferences
In addition to the above, there are actually associations, groups and conferences which seek to improve CRM for small businesses. Search for them on Google or look for them in books. By attending training, symposiums and lectures about CRM you'll improve your perspective on CRM as a strategy that you can implement for your own small business. It's important to understand all aspects of customer relationship management in terms of the business strategy and the software so that you can better explain it to stakeholders and partners.
Online Magazines and Blogs
There are many online magazines and blogs such as CRM Magazine and DestinationCRM.com. There you can learn about important news related to CRM the strategy and CRM software. In addition there are events and educational programs to help you improve or develop your CRM strategy.
Feel free to comment on what resources you find the most helpful