My Little Voice - the OpenCRM Blog

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The musings of our CRM Team

Welcome to My Little Voice

Welcome to our blog. Its great to have you here.

We wanted a place where we could explain the type of work we do, our goals and passions, the business journey and any successes we have along the way. We also wanted somewhere to hold all that trivia that has a connection to what we do here at OpenCRM (sometimes we admit these links are very tenuous). Please take a look and feel free to contact us if you have any comments, ideas or feedback we would love to hear from you - just click here.


There's an App for that!

Remember the time when you wanted a form on your website and it cost you a fortune in time and money for a web developer who didn’t always give you exactly what you wanted? That time is over! OpenCRM now integrates with JotForm, an amazingly simple to use Form Creator.

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An Answer for Every Question

FAQs Questions

Way back at the end of January, I wrote a blog post about how invaluable the FAQ module can be for holding onto information that would usually be held in an employee handbook. In other words, how useful the FAQ module is to your own users and internal processes. But, it can also be invaluable to your customers.

The FAQ module in OpenCRM, when used alongside the customer portal, is a fantastic way of communicating with your consumer base. And that’s not just for technical questions or for tech companies.

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3 Tips to staying on top of your work

Claire-Paperwork

It's the end of the week before a long weekend. You look around and see you still have piles of work to do, but only 8 scheduled hours in which to do them. Plus, you are busy! You have meetings and calls, not all this work will be done. If you ever feel like this, here are 3 of my favourite tips and tricks on how to keep on top of your work and all whilst keeping a level head.

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In Case of Roman Holiday

While you are reading this, I am wandering around the Eternal City. That’s right, I am, right at this moment, on holiday in Rome (the wonders of technology). I thought, however, that this would be a great opportunity to write a blog about using OpenCRM to manage your personnel records.

When we were planning this holiday, the first thing I did was check that no one else in my team was scheduled to be on holiday at the same time. To do this, I just went to my Calendar, selected to view the activities of my own team and the type of activity “Holiday.”

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Ensuring The Customer Journey Is A Smooth Ride

I am sure most of us are creatures of habit. Whether it means going to a branch of Ikea, shopping on Amazon or going to a supermarket, we will generally know the layout of the place and how the customer experience works, regardless of branch or even which country we are visiting. Generally we expect a consistent consumer experience.

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Warping Past Your Competition with OpenCRM – Part Two

Bike-warp

A few weeks ago I bought a new bike. I was so excited about how speedy it was compared to my old bike, which was approximately 15 years old. With gears that worked and a lighter frame, I shaved 15 minutes off my old time when commuting to work.

But, only one day into cycling to work I got a puncture… urgh! Cutting a potentially very long story short, I have now, a week later, purchased some super slime inner tubes, which should in theory prevent punctures in the future. This morning I cycled into work again, hurrah!

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New to the CRM game?

Map-claire2

 

When I was a child, I moved around quite a bit. I started life in a sunny village in the south of France, to then move across the world to a smaller lesser known London, in Canada.

Moving around taught me a few great lessons:

 $1 1.       “Adapt or Evolve”

 It sounds severe, but it really has saved my life. I have been able to be thrown into situations and was able to tread water and keep myself from drowning.

$1  2.       “Keep your mind open to the unknown”

 Not knowing is scary for most people. I thrive on knowledge, and want to know more and more, always more.

Both those lessons, like anything in life also have downfalls.

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HelpDesk: For Speedy Support

Speedy Support

I have written a few times about how important the Calendar and Activities modules are in our day-to-day life, while Tom has recently written about the importance of Projects in his own work and Abi’s given you the nitty-gritty on recurring Sales Orders. All of the modules in OpenCRM have their champions in our office, with Opportunities being the home of our sales team and our Accounts department living in Invoices. The module I’d like to highlight in this blog, however, is the domain of our support team: HelpDesk.

You may have contacted our support team in the past, either by emailing, calling, or even over LiveChat, and will have noticed a few things about the way they respond. The various features within HelpDesk allow them to respond speedily and keep track of all associated communication, which, at the end of the day, just makes their job easier.

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You'll Never Get Lost Again!

Incredible as it may seem, the humble postcode is only 40 years old today. This short combination of letters and numbers has become a totally integral part of our lives that is used for so many things. Obviously we use it to receive post. Increasingly in physical stores at the checkout we are asked for our postcode and house number, in order to help the organisation compile their customer statistics. It affects us in other ways for example calculating insurance premiums. And many of us use postcodes on a daily basis when entering destinations into our satnavs. Somehow it’s hard to imagine how we managed to find our way around in the days before the codes that take us from AB (Aberdeen) to ZE (Zetland).

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Warping Past Your Competition with OpenCRM – Part One

When each day seems filled to the brim with clients, opportunities and meetings, how do you ensure you stay ahead of your competition? Keeping an edge over competing companies can be difficult when you feel you are already working at 110%.

By utilizing good CRM tools which help you to streamline your sales process and refine your procedures, your companies’ efficiency and productivity will improve.

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Pay it Forward

pay it forward

Being a relative newbie to CRM I am always impressed that, as a Salesforce alternative, OpenCRM really does stand out in comparison to its bigger brother. Lately, I have been focusing on the way we capture leads.

As a sales person myself, I’ve come to realise that some people bend the truth or the facts just to serve their purpose, just to get your money. I fell into sales because I realised I was good at convincing people. However, I will never sell you something I am not 100% convinced you will need and get full benefit from.
I think that is something we, as sales people in general, should focus on: always having at heart the best interest of our customers.
Do you know the best way to attract said customers? Word of mouth. Although marketing campaigns, click through tracking and social media advertising you can do, nothing beats a happy customer referring you to their friends!

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Time to Celebrate the Silly Season

April Fools

Several months ago, I was fortunate enough to have one of my blogging days land on Bonfire Night. I wanted to write about the story of Guy Fawkes and started by looking at other people who were executed for similar crimes. The post ended up focusing on how perfectly both Bonfire Night and Halloween match the season in which they are celebrated.

Both holidays have a spooky and/or macabre feel to them, making them particularly well suited to a season characterised by shorter days and a rather creepy chill to the air.

This got me thinking when I realised that I was going to get to blog on April Fools’ day as well. This article on About.com talks a bit about the origins of April Fools’ day, mentioning that, while the leading theory suggests that April Fools started when New Year’s Day shifted from the end of March to the first of January, this doesn’t explain why there are so many cheerful holidays around this time of year.

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles & CRM

I’ve been thinking recently about how I actually use CRM within my own role as a Project Manager here at OpenCRM. Here’s an example of how it would have certainly helped with my own private planning.

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To Infinity and Beyond – Part 2

Last week I wrote a post about how all good business ventures start with a dream, inspired by Richard Branson’s epic work on the Virgin Galactic project.

This week I would like to discuss a similarly brilliant venture, the ‘Cybathlon’. This is an incredibly inventive project put together by the Swiss National Competence Center of Research in Robotics (NCCR Robotics). The project is to put on an Olympic games for ‘bionic athletes’ to take part in, hosted in Switzerland, in 2016. The aims of the sporting event will be ‘to promote the development of novel assistive systems and reinforce the scientific exchange, to improve the public awareness about the challenges and opportunities of assistive technologies, and to enable pilots with disabilities to compete in races, making this a unique event.’*

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Keeping Focused

thoughts

It’s not always easy to keep your mind on your work, even if (or maybe especially if) you’re trying to puzzle out the solution to a tricky problem. You have the best of intentions, but sometimes your mind just wanders. Maybe you start looking forward to that relaxing bath you’re planning on having when you get home or just get distracted by trying to decide what you want for dinner. No matter how useful or important that distraction is, your mind has drifted and you’re no longer in puzzle-solving mode.

Then, to further complicate matters, there’s always some new task or process that needs to be incorporated to your job. It’s a never ending cycle and it can feel like you’ll never get everything done. Whether you love the new process or not, that period of implementation can be draining, if only because it is changing your routine.

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Encouraging Customer Loyalty By Offering Superior Service

Regardless of what your current marketing objectives may be, one goal that many of you will have is to increase customer loyalty. For some this strategy simply revolves around being cheaper than anyone else. On the surface this makes sense, I mean surely everyone loves a bargain?!

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To Infinity and Beyond

When I was a kid, Sir Richard Branson was in the press quite a lot for his entrepreneurial millionaire shenanigans, from his Virgin record company and store, to the Virgin airways; it seemed this man was unstoppable and such a determined bodacious character. Not much has changed now I am an adult, Sir Branson is still continuing to amaze me.

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The Rules of Feedback

Feedback2

Though I like to keep a very tight lip about my time working with the fruit giant, this is one of the biggest lessons I learnt from the word go. I was taught that there were 4 kinds of feedback, not two.

$11.       Positive General

$12.       Positive Specific

$13.       Negative Specific

$14.       Negative General

I quickly gathered I would only really use three types of feedback though.

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How to Manage Your Time Effectively

Do you ever have the feeling that no sooner than you’ve got to the office, flicked on the computer screen to start working, when all of a sudden lunchtime comes around? And in another blink of an eye it’s time to head home?!

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