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Friday, August 27, 2010 Introduction to CRM

Welcome to the CRM blog. Here you can learn about new features and what is going on with the CRM team. The plan for this entire website is to keep you up to date with new developments on the project and give you insight into what it is like to work on this team. There will be many more blog entries about the developers and about what they are working on but right now we want to help you understand and become familiar with the system. 

First, you need to know how to access the system. To do this, simply go to Internet Explorer and type “CRM” in the web address bar. For more information on this please read the HelpDesk DIY article on accessing CRM.

Next, it is very important to learn how to search for a record. To watch a demonstration and read about it you can visit the Multi Search in CRM HelpDesk DIY article. The best way to do this is by using the Multi Search tool which was actually created by the developers on the CRM team. You will get to learn more about this in future blog entries. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management so the first part of that is finding the customer. This is what Multi Search is for. When you open a record for a contact, in our case that is usually a student, you can view information about them and about interactions they have had with other people and departments within the University. These interactions are called Activities. To learn how to create an activity associated with a particular person’s record you can visit the HelpDesk DIY article on creating activities in CRM.

An Activity is something that has happened or is planned to happen. In CRM this can be a Task, Fax, Phone Call, E-mail, Letter, Appointment, Service Activity or Campaign Response. Each of these has a slightly different form to fill out based on the kind of communication that took place. It is recommended that you take time to look at each one and decide which will be the most useful for you. If you create an Activity and “Save and Close” it, it will go into the “Activities” section. This means the Activity has not yet been completed so you can go back and add details later. If you “Save as Complete” then it will go into History.

The History section of CRM keeps track of Activities that have already taken place. This is different from Activities because Activities will only show what is still going to take place. You can look in the History section to see who this person has already been in contact with and what this communication regarded. To learn more about Activities and History you can watch the HelpDesk DIY video Exploring a Contact Record.

For more advanced users of CRM, you may want to try out the advanced find feature. Here you can search for contacts, articles, and many other things in CRM. You can add different filters to refine your search as much as you wish. This can be useful for better gearing marketing campaigns. For instance, you can search for all contacts, who have donated to the school in the last year and who live in a certain geographic area. Or it can be used to search for people involved in an alumni chapter. It can even be used to search for all people who have told the school they work as pastors. This could be very helpful if a  conference for pastors was being planned and you were looking for people who would be interested in receiving information about it.

As you can see, CRM is a very powerful system with a lot of benefits to offer. It can be useful for tracking interactions with students so that they won’t have to repeat their problem to multiple sources. It can also be useful for finding people that would be interested in particular events. This blog is here to introduce you to some of those features. For more information you can always find more information on HelpDesk DIY including videos and written directions to do many common CRM tasks.

If you would like more in-depth help, CASAS and IT Training will be offering CRM training. Feel free to contact them or visit the ProDev Portal for more information.

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