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Customer relationship management (CRM)(opens in a new tab) is quite self-explanatory: it’s the process of managing both the current and future relationships you and your company have with customers. This is typically facilitated with a software that helps you streamline your client communication processes and stay in touch with your customers, which all leads to your end goal of improving business relationships and profitability.

What is CRM software?

When people refer to CRM, they are typically referring to the use of software. A good CRM software allows you to track relationships with clients throughout your lifecycle with them, including while they are a lead, while you’re winning them over, and while they’re an official client. But how can you tell if a CRM will work for you or not? According to Jenny Chang at FinancesOnline(opens in a new tab), there are 5 characteristics to watch out for.

  • The ability to manage and synchronize your contacts effectively. All good CRMs will organize a contact so that their contact information and all interactions with them—including calls, emails, and presentations—can be accessed in the same location.
  • Customer support available round-the-clock. When looking into CRMs, make sure to check out what their customer support is like. Ideally, they will have a live chat function and be available the majority of the week on a 24-hour basis. Business doesn’t sleep!
  • Simplicity and ease of use. You shouldn’t need to sit around scratching your head while trying to figure out how to use their software. Get in touch with the company to see if you can do a demo before you invest so that you can see if it’s a good fit for you before using your hard-earned cash.
  • Convenience and accessibility. The last thing you want is difficulty while trying to navigate your CRM software with a smartphone or tablet. It should make your life easier, not harder.
  • Sales & marketing process automation. Running marketing campaigns, measuring performance, and even connecting to social media are key qualities in CRM software that you will thank your lucky stars for.

Who is CRM software for?

Though you may think that CRMs are designed exclusively for sales teams, almost anyone can use them. If you need to manage numerous interactions with external parties, you could definitely benefit from a CRM. It not only keeps all of the vital information for your clients in one place, but also helps you track interaction with those clients. Forget going through the pain of offering them the same tour or deal that you offered last month. If a potential client sent you a series of questions 6 months ago and have now resurfaced, you don’t have to ask them to refresh your memory of who they are. Productivity and efficiency increased!

Which CRM works for me?

It’s likely that the majority of well-rated CRM software will, at the very least, help you get the job done. Deciding which one will help you best optimize your business is another story, and only you can really decide that. There are numerous great ones out there, but here we’ve listed a few to get you started (in no particular order).

1. Agile

Ranked best overall by The Balance Small Business(opens in a new tab), Agile CRM(opens in a new tab) possesses extensive automation options and practically endless features. Hold more than 10,000 contacts, store all of your template emails, and do much more with this jack-of-all-trades software that is great for sales and marketing. What more could you ask for?

2. Zoho

Zoho(opens in a new tab) offers a CRM software that is cloud-based, so you can access it from any computer anywhere. With this multi-channel platform, you’ll be able to save customer data from almost any platform imaginable—even live chat! Get analytics on your customers in real time, assign tasks to team members, and add some extensions to make the most of your experience.

3. Hubspot

We’re a bit partial to Hubspot(opens in a new tab) since it’s the one our sales team here at Tourism Tiger uses. Handling a growing business is what Hubspot does best! Stay updated with your sales funnel right on your dashboard. Manage your client interactions easily, as they are displayed in timeline form so that you know exactly when you last touched base with a client and what happened in that interaction. And if you’re just as crazy about GSuite as we are, then you’ll love how smoothly Hubspot integrates with your Google accounts.

4. Streak

The Balance Small Business(opens in a new tab) classifies Streak(opens in a new tab) as the easiest CRM to use, and this stems mainly from the fact that its most-integrated platform is Gmail! After installing the extension, watch as Streak takes your Gmail account from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk of CRMs. And yes, you guessed it—it works great on Gmail, so it will also work great on the other Google web-based applications.

The takeaway

If you have a tourism business and are looking to go above and beyond the standard email chains, then a CRM can do you a world of good. Finding the right one for you may take some trial and error, but there are numerous resources out there to make sure you find the best one. Check out our tips above to get started!

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