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What CRM system do you use and how do you use it?

What CRM system do you use and how do you use it?

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I would love to know what CRM software other firms are using, and how they use it - I.e. Just the odd email, direct mail etc, or something more exciting?

We use ACT! But as it doesn't integrate with our practice software we have to double up on work, and there are some clients who don't get the stuff we send etc.

Cheers everyone

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By Cloudcounter
30th Nov 2013 13:16

Exciting?

Exciting is pushing it a bit!

We use Maximizer, but like most software nowhere near its full potential

Incoming post is logged on as a note (then scanned and filed in a different system)

Outgoing post is produced via Maximizer's own integrated word processer.  Very simple but enables us to set up a ton of standard letters, and merge either singly or to selected clients.  It can pull in client data and user defined fields such as tax references.  When we do a letter it automatically adds a note to the client record

Built in calendar, including allocation of shared resources such as meeting rooms.  When the appointment is completed, it goes in the notes

Hotlist tasks for self or allocate to other users,  When the task is completed it goes in the notes,  and an option to set a follow up action.

You can have customised views of the address list and for me this is the most useful feature.  You can create a view for accounts prep, showing job status, dates in, draft, completed, filed Co House, filed HMRC, and then sort on any column you choose.  A separate view for tax returns - return needed, dates for controlling information, completion and submission.  We also add fields for payments on account and final payments,  The possibilities are endless

It does handle emails, but I usualy just copy and paste the contents of emails to a note

Telephone calls can be logged, in and out.  Connection to CLI or autodiallers is possible but we don't use it,  When the call is ended, a note is created, noting the call and any text that you've entered

There's a company library, and a knowledge base. 

Ideally every action or point of contact with a client should be noted.  In practice only the more important phone calls go in there but all documents and mail communications go in there.

There is built in functionality that we don't really use for Opportunities, Campaigns, Order Desk and Customer Service Issues,

 

There's no integration, but nothing else that we use is integrated either, so we are used to that

HTH

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By zebaa
30th Nov 2013 23:52

I used to use Act! but then needed to pass information between remote workers. As a software product I found Act! okay but there are significant limitations, not least that the front end program has been grafted on to a database, about which the front end programers know little. This always struck me as odd, but I understand it was due to the database being licenced & not owned. It also meant getting data out, other than using the built in reports, which I could alter, was a problem.

In the end I switched over to Time & Chaos. My suggestion is give it a go with the 30 day free trial. You most likely want the version which best supports e-mail.   

As for integration, like Cloudcounter's it's limited. While integration can be good I have seen what happens when CRM injects data into Sage and it goes wrong. Sorry, I hate Sage & this colours my view, but data errors like this involves loads of rectification work. Introducing errors into accounts is a cause of concern but with the added worry if it has happened once it will happen again. This can be really, really bad news. My advice is don't jump in this dark deep pool unless you are a very good swimmer.

 

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By mparrett
01st Dec 2013 20:06

we use zoho

We use zoho crm, primarily as a client database, contact manager and report generator. The main reason for a crm was to record emails against the client account as a permanent record.

we use vt and taxcalc for the real work

harvest for time and billing (even though fixed fees)

and we use volume for paperless office

i could really do with practice management software, but am reluctant to go for an all in one like iris or digita as we like vt and taxcalc - i am also reluctant to go for another database with client records - currently, if there is a change of address we have a whole bunch of duplication

if anyone knows of affordable practice management software that can do crm (including emails) good time and billing and paperless office, let me know!

Matt

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By dbowleracca
03rd Dec 2013 21:00

Looks like a common problem then!
Integration seems to be a major problem. Email is handled well through ACT! If it's set up properly but has it's limitations.

Looks like it's best to stick with ACT! For now, but thank you all.

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By Old Greying Accountant
03rd Dec 2013 21:20

IRIS

I press keys on my keyboard and move my mouse around clicking at appropriate times.

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