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The Dangers of a Custom-Built CRM System

A Customer Relationship Management tool is vital to all organisations that recognise that the real value of any company lies in its customers.

The more information collected and stored regarding the target audience the better prepared a business is to be able to add value that not only maximises but also extends a wide customer base.

Similarly, larger businesses thrive on building networks of contacts at both ends of commerce and not managing this information effectively can cost both time and money, resulting in reduced productivity and a less effective team.

Collaboration within and between organisations is essential which is why the best CRM systems are constantly changing to help keep up with your business needs.

Not for Profit Organisations probably rely even more upon customer information than most other constitutions. An effective CRM can help a business store contact information for both current and prospective customers that can be shared with colleagues.

On a basic level, it can keep a track of all customer interactions including telephone calls, emails and enquiries. Personal notes and details can be shared amongst all staff and follow-ups can be outlined so all members of the team are able to maintain high-quality relationships with all customers.

Bespoke CRM Packages

In many cases, such organisations have chosen to use a highly rigid, custom-built CRM system that is both created and implemented by a 3rd party provider.

There are clearly a number of advantages to this in terms of providing a CRM system that meets specific needs as well as the opportunity to include staff training as part of the package.

However, there can also be some significant disadvantages which is why it is vital to explore all the available options to your business.

Firstly, relying heavily on an external supplier can leave a company vulnerable if the supplier begins to monopolise the situation.

There are some CRM providers that will deliberately limit the functions or system capability of its CRM to ensure further sales in terms of consultancy or implementation costs.

A business might struggle if it is unable to link new data to the CRM or alter custom changes without incurring significant charges. Some CRM providers effectively lock down the system so that any changes, no matter how small or trivial, can only be implemented by themselves.

In many cases, the provider will also own the IP rights to the system to ensure the customer is further obligated as they are unable to switch to an alternate provider or consider a different system from someone else.

Furthermore, customers must consider how far the company will continue to meet all its needs in the future.

For example, it is not uncommon for a CRM business to cease trading or fall into administration and the risk may be greater if the selected provider is a small, independent outfit rather than a larger, mainstream organisation.

Should this scenario arise, then the provider might well disappear along with all of their clients’ carefully collected data.

The needs of an NFP organisation change rapidly, therefore, even if the data is safely stored on the NFP’s own servers, any chance of updating or amending the CRM system will be instantly obliterated.

Even if a CRM provider continues to thrive, every organisation is in constant flux and regularly reviews its systems which might mean the provider could decide to implement changes that can have a severe impact for its clients.

There have been cases where a supplier has chosen to reduce or end support services leaving some clients unable to access certain aspects of their provision.

It is not unheard of for a company to decide to stop providing services to a particular target sector which might leave some of their clients stranded.

cloudThing: Our Perspective

As a socially conscious organisation, cloudThing has some serious concerns over how charitable businesses in particular have incurred unnecessary costs as a result of using a proprietary built CRM system.

We have become alarmed after hearing first-hand how many Not for Profit organisations have suffered losses or found themselves trapped using a CRM system that no longer fulfils their needs.

cloudThing is interested to hear from any Not for Profit organisations that have been affected negatively as a result of using a proprietary built or custom made CRM system.

We are a leading Microsoft Gold partner and regard Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the most comprehensive cloud based business management solution in the market.

Encompassing all the components of CRM, ERP along with productivity apps and artificial intelligence tools. It provides a full range of services to meet every requirement of even the most unique company.

cloudThing helps organisations to create substantial efficiencies through deployment of effective solutions, saving businesses huge costs. Crucially, in this case – it means charitable businesses are not having to divert donations unnecessarily towards running an ineffective CRM system.

Better still, the CRM capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 mean that no NFP organisation should lose any functionality.

So Why Else Should You Consider Microsoft Dynamics?

You can expect on-going UI and UX roll-outs and updates from Microsoft Dynamics 365, which continues to set the pace for the rest of the market, paving the way with new market trending features, ensuring all users are never left behind.

Dynamics 365 offers an extensive range of capabilities straight out of the box. With enviable cloud-based storage to secure file-sharing and unique methods of enabling vital collaboration, it is easy to see why Microsoft are the preferred choice for both NFP organisations and highly successful commercial companies.

Acquisition of LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is now owned by Microsoft and has been fully integrated into Dynamics 365.

This means all users can have their LinkedIn data synced with their Office 365 profiles. As a result, companies can share and learn far more information about one another than ever before without even having to leave their usual CRM interface.

Even more interesting, users will be able to send LinkedIn emails and messages directly from within Dynamics as well as being able to collect data about which customers have visited their LinkedIn pages.

This new service capability can help any business build vital and mutually rewarding relationships with an ever-widening customer base.

Another important reason why cloudThing considers Microsoft Dynamics 365 to be the complete solution to the business needs of most organisations is that Microsoft continues to hold the widest share of the market.

Having won the 2017 CRM Magazine awards for Customer Service Leader and Case Management Leader, Microsoft are increasing their share in the market at an impressive speed, convincingly advancing towards CRM market domination.

There are many businesses that are choosing 365 for their business needs because it provides such a quality led service while having so many customers also enables Microsoft to keep abreast of the ever-changing requirements of the market.

This enables Microsoft to continue to be innovative and develop solutions to solve specific problems for your organisation today and the problems of tomorrow. 

Maximise the Potential

cloudThing can help ensure you maximise the full suite of Microsoft Dynamics 365 which can help staff at all levels become as productive and efficient as possible.

Unlike many other crm service providers, cloudThing has invested a great deal of time and effort into supporting charities and Not for Profit organisations.

Many of these organisations found that they were squandering funds that could be directed more helpfully towards helping others because their CRM system was not functioning at its full capacity.

Some were paying for functions they did not need or were unable to link new information or adverts to their current system without incurring additional charges.

As one of the largest charitable organisations in operation and with longstanding links across the world, Comic Relief has an enormous database divided between customers who donate, supply merchandise or organise extensive events across the country.

Clearly, the demands Comic Relief places on its CRM system are astronomical and yet all their unique needs are fully met thanks to maximising the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Comic Relief and other similar charities are now thriving thanks to the support of Dynamics 365 and cloudThing.

We are now very keen to help other organisations to increase their productivity for their full CRM system needs.

To speak to cloudThing about your current business needs and to find out more about Microsoft Dynamics, contact cloudThing today.