“Having a surefire way to track and keep client promises” is my favorite way of describing the need for a CRM (client relationship management) system. I know that the topic of CRM has been beaten into the ground — with much of my 30-year career in this industry spent selling CRM software, I know I have talked about it until I am blue in the face. But it is a personal passion of mine to help firms make sure they do just that, keep client promises.
I love helping people realize the true meaning of CRM. And “client promises” encompasses so many things. Let’s break it down:
1. Tracking an important interaction such as a phone call or a meeting.
2. Keeping track of due dates on everything from proposals to drawings.
3. Having a place to track thoughts and ideas revolving around a project so you can share them with your prospect or client at a later date.
Sure, CRM systems can have elaborate tracking components and reporting capabilities but what it really comes down to is a simple need to record important details that you don’t want to slip through the cracks. It’s making sure that you know more information about your client than your competitor does.
And sometimes in the AE industry it is also being able to cover your “assets”. By date and time stamping your entries, you can also go back to a client with details when issues arise. This can be important if you are in a “scope creep” situation where you need to resolve a time or billing issue on a project.
So does a small AE firm need a CRM system? You bet they do. Even if it is just a simple integration into your overall project database that lets you record a note and schedule a follow-up task, an electronic diary of sorts. We all want to keep our client promises and it doesn’t hurt to have a few reminders.
If you feel like you can’t keep up with the notes and scheduling follow-ups (basically “keeping those client promises”), reach out and we can discuss a plan for using our virtual services to help you with managing your client relationships!