Monthly Archives: June 2016

Why Use a CRM Product? How High-Quality CRM Software Will Benefit Your Company


High-quality CRM software assists you with cultivating and maintaining strong customer relationships.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can contribute significantly to your company’s success. When you develop the best strategies and deploy the best tools to strengthen your relationship with existing and potential customers, your company enjoys important benefits.

High-quality CRM software assists you with cultivating and maintaining strong customer relationships. Why use a CRM product? In the long-run, it can save you money and improve profits by attracting more customers, increasing customer retention, and allowing your employees to work more efficiently.

How does it give you these benefits?

1) It keeps you organized and better informed

CRM software integrates customer information from a wide variety of sources, including email, social media, and in-store and online purchases. All of this information is kept centralized and updated, with a record of your interactions with each customer, including calls you’ve made and emails you’ve sent.

You can also keep track of customers’ feedback, including complaints about your products or services. All of this information, gathered in one place, gives you an important overview of your relationship with customers. It provides you with insights for how to keep reaching out to them, meeting or exceeding their expectations and addressing their concerns.

2) It contributes to a more meaningful relationship with customers and clients

Because your CRM product keeps track of customer information, you can use it to help make your interactions with customers more personal and meaningful to them. You can remember their preferences, interests, personal characteristics, and purchasing habits. You’ll be in a better position to understand when they expect to hear from you and when they’ll next need one of your services or products. You’ll also have greater insight into the types of qualities or information that will convince them to make a purchase.

3) It helps make your response to customers more timely and prompt

With CRM software, you can consistently keep track of when you need to contact your customers. You can prioritize the calls and emails you send out based on impending deadlines, the urgency of your customers’ needs, the stage of the sales cycle, and any other factors you consider important. You’re more likely to stay in touch with customers, follow up with them appropriately, and not leave them hanging when they need to hear back from you.

4) It allows you to work with flexibility and efficiency

With high-quality CRM software, you can access the relevant customer information from any device and location. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the road, you have access to everything you need.

Your CRM product can also integrate with other software and seamlessly become a part of your business operations. Different departments in your company can tap into it and utilize its insights. Not just your sales and marketing departments but also, for example, your IT personnel looking for feedback that will help them improve your company’s website. Or your customer service department evaluating patterns of problems that lead to customers leaving your company for competitors.

Furthermore, CRM software can accommodate your company’s growth. It can encompass a growing number of customers and clients, and new sources of information about them. You can also customize the software to best serve your company’s needs.

Making your CRM product an important part of your company’s success

Ultimately, your CRM product will be part of a general approach at your company that emphasizes a stronger relationship with customers and positive customer experiences.

In November 2015, Consumer Reports published a survey on poor customer service interactions, with many consumers complaining about a lack of a response, irrelevant sales pitches, and rudeness. These kinds of complaints aren’t limited to customer service representatives. Customers and clients also get turned off by similar behaviors from sales representatives and marketers. If your company comes across as tone-deaf, neglectful or belligerent, you’re much more likely to lose customers.

Your CRM software can give you the resources and tools to reach out to customers in a favorable way and remain responsive to their needs. Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance with installing and customizing high-quality CRM software. Your CRM product can significantly improve your sales and your customers’ satisfaction.

Four Ways To Prepare for a Windows 10 Migration


Backing up your data will make sure it stays safe during the migration.

A recent article from Business Insider takes a sharp tone in its title when it urges people to “stop waffling and install Windows 10 on your computers already.”

It’s understandable why companies may show some reluctance to migrate to Windows 10. People don’t always trust Microsoft and its promises, and sometimes they’re turned away by the computer giant’s aggressive marketing tactics. People may prefer an older system they’re accustomed to and the programs compatible with it. And they may also have legitimate concerns about new problems they’ll have to deal with after migrating.

Making your Windows 10 migration easier

Maybe one of your main concerns about the new operating system is the migration process itself.

To make a Windows 10 migration go more smoothly, it’s important to take the right steps to prepare. Without proper preparation, you’re more likely to encounter frustrating and perhaps devastating problems.

The following are four major ways to get ready for your Windows 10 migration:

  1. Evaluate your device and consider if it’s ready for Windows 10. Depending on the device you’re using, Windows 10 may put a strain on it. Look into whether your device can accommodate the new operating system. (Here’s a link to Microsoft’s specifications for Windows 10.) Inspect the health of your device as well; perform a disk check, and scan your device for malware.
  2. Review the contents of your device. Look into whether you have software that may not work well with Windows 10. And if you have any software on your device that you never use, feel free to delete it and create more space on your device. Do the same for any files you no longer need. (As long as you’re sure you’re not accidentally deleting something you really do need). Check that peripheral devices and hardware, such as your printer, will have compatible drivers with Windows 10. If you understand the content of your computer and work to organize it and clean it up, you’re less likely to experience unpleasant surprises after migrating to Windows 10.
  3. Back up your device. Never migrate to a new operating system without first backing up all of your data. Check that your backups are complete and that you really have copies of everything. Even if your Windows 10 migration goes smoothly, there’s still some danger of permanent data loss.
  4. Make sure you have all of your software license and password information. While many programs should make a smooth transition to Windows 10, it’s best to have copies of certain information readily available, such as software license keys and passwords. Maybe you’ll need to reinstall something or regain access to one of your accounts.

After installation, there are various settings you can check and configure to make the operating system more convenient for you, such as when to schedule updates that restart your device. The more carefully you prepare in advance, the fewer adjustments you’ll likely need to make once the migration is complete. But regardless of whether you think the migration went well, it’s important to go through your device and check that everything is working as you expect.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance with migrating to Windows 10. Although people’s lingering concerns about the new operating system have some weight, it’s important to consider the advantages you’ll get once you migrate to it. Many companies are opting for Windows 10 because of its powerful security, its strong performance across computing devices, its user-friendliness, and its array of helpful, high-quality programs such as Cortana. Windows 10 users will also benefit from future tweaks and updates, along with support for compatible Microsoft programs. (In the next few years Microsoft will withdraw support from older operating systems.)

We can help you ensure that the migration process goes smoothly and that your operating system and its programs are set up in an optimal way for your business.

Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) Can Strengthen Your Company with Scalability


Bolster your team with the support of a MSP.

When you hire a high-quality Managed Service Provider (MSP) to handle your company’s IT activities, you’re getting more than just IT support. You’re also receiving services that will help you anticipate the future and sustain your company’s growth.

An important quality that companies need in their IT activities is scalability. Given the rate of technological change, and the fact that companies often need to expand to accommodate larger scale operations and more employees, scalability is critical to supporting business growth.

How can your MSP contribute to scalability?

Your MSP will provide your company with scalable IT solutions, helping you succeed as your business develops and new technologies emerge.

A recent article from eWeek lists scalability as one of ten best practices IT professionals must bring to their work. It’s vital for your company’s development and growth. Imagine that you need to launch a new operation but find yourself getting held back by unexpectedly limited capacities or resources. This could prove devastating to your company’s success. Scalability allows for rapid changes and gives you the flexibility to undergo new developments, whether it’s your need to grow, to scale back, or to direct your company down a new path.

What are some activities that demand scalability?

  • Hiring new employees. With new employees, you need to accommodate new devices, expanded software services, and a greater amount of data getting generated in the course of business operations. Employees often use multiple devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, and smartphones. Can your IT solutions readily encompass these new devices and the data they process and transmit?
  • Managing data. Your company’s activities produce enormous quantities of data, and the volume can continue growing at a rapid pace. Data needs to get managed well: stored, protected, backed up, and organized, particularly when it’s critical data. Your data management solutions must be scalable. You need to always have enough space for your data, and that space must remain secure against cyber attacks and other IT disasters.
  • Keeping your company secure. Cyber criminals are always looking out for vulnerabilities in your devices and network defenses. Strong cyber security involves round-the-clock network monitoring to detect suspicious activities. Scalability is a key quality for your cyber security plan. No matter what new devices or programs you incorporate into your business activities, your cyber security solutions must cover them immediately.
  • Determining software usage. Certain kinds of software you need throughout the year, while in other cases a program may prove necessary only for certain weeks or months. Scalability allows you to govern software usage in a cost-effective way, so that you’re paying for services only when you need them. Scalability also lets you quickly give new employees access to your software, and remove their access or privileges when necessary.

The benefits of scalability

In addition to sustaining your company’s continued development, scalable IT solutions can save you money in the long-run; you don’t waste money on hardware or software that you don’t need. Because scalable solutions can accommodate rapid changes, they also help you stay productive, free from unnecessary downtime. And they remain responsive to your needs, both short-term and long-term. You remain better prepared for whatever changes your company faces in the future.

Cultivating and maintaining scalability is a challenge, and only a high-quality MSP can help you meet it successfully. To further discuss scalability, please contact us. When we work as your MSP, we provide you with IT solutions that are tailored to your company. We’re always on the lookout for new technologies that enable you to benefit from scalability in a cost-effective way. You won’t have to worry about IT solutions that are unnecessarily inflexible and keep your company from reaching its full potential.

What Types of Data Should Be Backed Up?


Learn how to keep the lock on your most important data.

Data back up is incredibly important. If you’re in business, no matter what you do, you probably already understand the importance of backing up your data. We could list all of the reasons to create backups, and everything that could go wrong if you don’t, but that’s been done before. Instead, let’s talk about which types of data really need to be backed up.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that it’s really best to just back up everything. Data storage is incredibly easy, and it’s also very inexpensive. In many cases, the main expense comes in actually creating and maintaining the backup in the first place, while storing extra data costs little to nothing extra. Because of this, there really isn’t a reason not to back up everything, but there are still types of data that are more important. This is the data that should be stored in several places. It deserves extra focus, and is worth the extra money, if it does end up costing more to store. It’s also the data you should keep in mind as you design your disaster recovery plan. Here are a few types of data that it is the most important to back up.

Customer information

One of the most important things a company possesses is information about its customers. If you lose this information, especially contact information and other detailed information specific to them, you could have to rebuild the entire company from the ground up. Make absolutely sure that this data is safely backed up in multiple places, and with a reputable data backup company.

Employee records

Losing employee records would be almost as bad as losing your customers’ information. You’d have to renegotiate any salaries or benefits packages that aren’t currently stored in paper form. You’d also have to guess how long each employee had worked there. You’d have to complete stacks of paperwork, which would take a huge amount of resources, and you’d risk missing things. It would be a huge hassle to have to repopulate all of your employees’ information. Make sure you have it backed up.

Product plans and records

This is more important for some companies than others. If you provide a standard product or service, like napkins or cleaning, you probably don’t have much documentation that is necessary for your business to operate. On the other hand, most products are specific to the company that makes them. Whether it’s a slightly different design that you don’t want to change, or something ingenuous that no one else even knows how to make, you’ll definitely want to back up any paperwork you have about the design or recipe of your product.

Financial history

Although this may not be as important as the others, it’s definitely good to have records of your financial history. In addition to the fact that you’ll need this to appease the IRS and other governmental organizations, these records will help you analyze where you’ve been, and predict where you’re going.

Inventory records

This one is pretty simple to understand. If you lose your inventory records, you’ll have no choice but to recount your inventory. Although this is possible, and may not create any long-term problems, it will cost a lot of money and time, which will be in short supply after a disaster.

Current orders

Finally, consider how embarrassing it would be to have to ask your customers to replace their orders, especially if they’ve already paid for them. Make sure that all current orders, even if they’ve just come in, are backed up, just in case.

Looking for more information about backing up your company’s most important data? Contact us.