The manual rolodex used to be one of the most basic but essential pieces of equipment for secretaries and Personal Assistants the world over. It was a potential goldmine of client contacts, valuable insights and information on every client and potential client that had ever made contact with the company. A rolodex was a pen and paper version of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system one that was closely guarded and protected by its owner, for the thirty or so years, prior to the first computer.
However, with the arrival of the computer in the 1980s, CRM systems could be consolidated into a single file. This was less tedious to update and more secure than the physical rolodex. Jump forward to the modern day and all CRM systems are now cloud based but what are the real benefits?
Easily accessed by everyone
Using cloud based CRM systems means all necessary information is available to anyone of your team. It also eliminates the problem of scrawled notes, bad and illegible handwriting and coffee stained pieces of paper!
Cloud based systems are usually payable in small monthly instalments, meaning they are affordable for smaller businesses AND give them the same high quality software options as larger companies.
Being able to group and segment particular contacts can be so tedious and time-consuming with a rolodex. On a cloud based system you can easily do this, just with a simple few clicks of your mouse. This make organising events easy, as well as making targeted mailing and meeting arrangements quicker and easier.
It gives you the ability to make connections and links between contacts on your system. It gives you an easy way to manage the data you have AND to use it to its full effect.
A cloud based CRM system gives you the tools needed to accurately measure and test your initiatives and programs, as well as the ability to make adjustments based on data-driven results. It enables you to set targets and monitor your progress, for each step of your way in the client’s relationship with you.
Security and back up
Above all else, a cloud based CRM system gives you a massive increase in security, when compared with the paper-based rolodex. Firstly, the software is housed on the software company server along with a MUCH better security system than you could ever have in your own home-based business. Secondly, you have your own login details and security keys etc. and finally, all cloud based CRM systems have automated backups and clear data recovery plans, if needed.
Mobility and functionality
Obviously, when it comes to functionality and mobility, a cloud based system will always come out tops, when compared to a traditional rolodex. With different mobile devices being the everyday normality, getting your CRM system mobile usually consists of downloading an app, something you just cannot do with a paper-based system!
Are you still using traditional manual methods for your CRM? If so, what are your reasons for resisting the cloud? Maybe you’ve been using a cloud based system for a while what do you love most about it? Why not share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments box below!