Building Grand Designs With CRM18 Apr 2013
This article looks at how the Projects module in your CRM solution offers you a great tool to help you keep your business under control. When you are busy – and that’s where we hope you are right now – it can be easy to fall into the habit of jumping from one job to another depending on which client is on the phone right now, which email looks nice and easy to deal with, or where deadlines might be catching up on you.
Sometimes a customer job can be a larger scale task, for example a house renovation, which is delivered in stages and the projects module is the ideal place for you to
manage the job. It enables the project manager to set start dates and deadlines to track and monitor the project and ensure that it runs on schedule. Work might be carried out by different professionals and this has to be coordinated so the tasks happen in the appropriate sequence – it would be no use if the painter were to turn up before the plumber had finished – and the project manager can keep track of activities not started and done to ensure such situations do not arise.
So far so good, we can make sure that construction is progressing according to the terms agreed.
Another challenge that faces the project manager is to not allow too much “scope creep” that is to say when the customer add seemingly minor jobs to the original spec, causing the venture to run way past any agreed deadlines and over budget. If the original plan was to concentrate on the house renovation only, jobs involving the garden and garage should be saved for the next project. From the beginning to the point when the original undertaking is completed you can demonstrate to the customer the plans that were drawn up together along with a time schedule which shows the progress as each activity is signed off. This essentially informs both parties that the project has been carried out as agreed from the outset. Now of course customer satisfaction and indeed going beyond in order to delight the customer is essential in today’s highly competitive services industry, and an important part of that is that both you and your customer are happy with the outcome of a completed project.
Recording each task, call and meeting as an activity and collecting these together on a project in your CRM software allows you to make sure projects are run in a logical manner enabling you to stay on target and run your business smoothly. At this finishing point you can look back on a job well done and your client is already loving their new dream house.
Before I got my start in the tech industry as part of Apple’s UK Mac launch team, I was a professional drummer (notice I didn’t say musician). But once I got in, I was hooked and I’ve been involved in the tech industry, primarily software development, for over 35 years. I founded this company and I now have the enviable title of System Architect (as well as Managing Director) here at OpenCRM.