When you’re busy at work, and need to keep updating your contacts list, let’s be honest – you often don’t! And as a result, many of us have a pile of business cards on our desk, from people we have met recently and mean to follow up.
So, there are three types of people: those without a system; those with a system that they don’t use very well; and the angels who have implemented a contact management system or customer relationship management tool, and use it effectively.
Unless you are in the third category, then you could probably benefit from some help, from a virtual assistant. They can take you from where you are currently – however disorganised that is – to a streamlined model of efficiency.
First, there is the choice of a system. You may have no system for organising contacts currently, or it may be the most basic of lists such as an Excel spreadsheet, or the standard issue software from Microsoft or Apple. A virtual assistant will normally have experience of a variety of CRM systems, and can probably help guide you towards the type of software that would suit you better. Some systems are better suited to, for example, a sales role, enabling you to record transactions and customer service calls. Others may be better suited to project management, or other discplines.
If you are out on the road a lot, then it may well be that the newer, cloud based contact management systems would suit you better. These store all the information remotely, so that it can be accessed from anywhere, so long as you have an internet connection.
Traditional CRM software that you purchase and install on your computer is falling in popularity, as it generally carries a high purchase cost, requires updating every year or two, and may need a large amount of hard disk space to store your data. There are also issues around backing up the data, and holding data securely that you may need to address, depending on the type of business you run.
In contrast, new cloud based CRM systems are usually run on a monthly subscription basis; and as the software is usually web accessed, it can be updated immediately and as often as required, by the company that delivers the service.
Having decided on the type of system, your virtual assistant can arrange purchase or subscriptions, setting up the basics of your system. They can then manage the transfer of any existing data inputted into the current system you are using; often, this requires the extraction of some type of formatted Excel file, which the new software can then read and input into the appropriate fields of its own data store. Such systems are rarely completely accurate, so the virtual assistant can help by checking entries.
Then, if you need help inputting data on a regular basis, the virtual assistant is at hand. Whether that’s a pile of business cards, scans of cards, emails from new contacts or any other format, they will be able to take the relevant information and ensure it is appropriately logged and stored – ready for you to use in the future. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether you should be using a more efficient contact storage system, get in touch with us now.