CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Intro

New Job! Salesforce CRM Administration. Time to learn…

CRM Customer Relationship Management Software, meant to help build and maintain relationships with clients. It’s a super broad term but that shows how applicable it can be, CRM systems can be IT support ticketing systems, project management situations, sales and accounting etc. Typically viewed as SaaS (Software as a Service), these cloud based infrastructure software can be used as a way to manage customers or the targeted population. The CRM software tries to make sure that users do not lose track of required tasks for relationship with customer.

CRM salesforce

These problems can be spread across a huge range of situations and problems, however in my case and experience CRM software has been used in three different areas:

  1. Healthcare
    1. Either used to stay in contact with patients or to stay in contact with referring or referred organizations, groups, hospitals, clinics, labs and a variety of other resources. Essentially as a way to help find a doctor as a patient or to stay up to date on the patient results and records or even staying up to date on billing and financial aspects of healthcare.
    2. Healthcare organizations generate new patients in two different ways, either by patient choice where the individuals need a healthcare provider that can suit their needs or to keep track of which specialist was referred or to where lab specimens were sent among a variety of other referrals.
    3. This can be used with patient relationships, not their records (those are another monster). Using a CRM software, providers and organizations can put the patient at the center of every decision and help with delivering personalized interactions with every member of the care team.
    4. I mainly used this software when I was scribing as well as when I was a volunteer with a smaller medical clinic out in Chicago. Although I mainly used an EHR as a scribe, there were times with tons of backlog and few administrative staff that I actually learned to work the admissions front desk, scheduling appointments and follow ups, coordinating triaged patients, as well as setting up reminders and helping to organize social services and care regarding finances, child care, and a variety of other resources for these patients to adhere to their prescribed regimen and follow up appointments.
  2. Information Technology
    1. My use is in ticketing management and communication with a variety of teams. Working in a computer lab and managing a variety of networks in a variety of buildings, it’s been a godsend to know who is requesting what and what kind of problems people are facing. I’m primarily centered in 3 locations: in the main offices for INTM, two floors below are the embedded systems lab and a computer lab for ITM with a beautiful server room, and then a CHBE computer lab that was configured and set up by our team in ITM a building away.
    2. Aside from the typical help desk support with configuring printers, putting users onto the domain and having them thrown under a group policy, we’ve also done work with setting up and implementing a NAS device for our VM backups, rerouted our networking cables and switches (slimmed down and made more robust and secure), and my favorite has been learning about Windows Server 2012 and how it is used in our automated deployment of images for each semester’s labs and classes (since each class requires a different image with different software).
  3. Higher Education Enrollment and Admissions
    1. I suppose this is where I see the most use because of how relevant and powerful of a tool it is that I constantly use. I work in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and because of that I have the opportunity to work with not only prospective students to the university but coaches, parents, and a variety of other guardians as well regarding the application, admissions, campus tours and visits, events and a bunch of other related things as well.
    2. When students make an inquiry or request information about the school, they usually come in the form of the stereotypical postcard with, “Tell Me More Information!” and because of that, us student workers spend our hours tirelessly inputting their name, addresses, graduation date and a bunch of other information into the CRM software so that we can reach out to them, make calls to see if they’re interested in certain events, facilitate answering questions and emails and most of all, helping them through their application process.
    3. Another specific involvement that we have is in telecounseling calls, I guess you could say I’ve become a glorified cold caller, but these are typically done in the sense of asking these prospective students and their eagerly awaiting parents about admissions decisions, possible transfer students, upcoming admissions events, scholarship opportunities and a gamut of other vital and informative… information! Although from the outside, some people view it as annoying but from the feedback that we’ve typically received, these calls are a great way to connect and maintain relationships as well as to ensure that vital information is received and understood.
    4. Recently, I’ve been recruited into an Enrollment Processing Team at my undergraduate institution and with that, I’ll be doing a lot of systems administration work with our university CRM, Target X which is primarily a CRM targeted for higher education learning. I’ve been going through documentation and training modules along with several tasks meant to help streamline the our migration to this new software as well as learning how to maximize the potential of the software for our own custom needs.

CRM

It’s a huge tool to help manage relationships with customers, patients, people seeking help for their forgotten passwords, or even potential and prospective students as well. Prior to this new age of globalized technology, there wasn’t really a good way to objectively measure results when it came to creating patient records and keeping up to date with scheduling appointments. There wasn’t a really good way to manage complaints and ticket requests as well as a way to view notes and solutions used to fix those problems for future references. There wasn’t really a way to keep track of applicants and keeping in contact with them throughout the entire application and enrollment process. So all CRM Software added, was a way to do just that, to stay organized, to maintain a good relationship, and best of all to keep track of patients, leads, potentials while having metrics to view performance and standardization. Not only does it allow you to keep track of what’s going on, but for management to do metrics with resource allocation.

A nice little introductory video too!

Now there can be some drawn lines between how Project Management Software and CRM Software can align, but the bottom line is that with Project Management Software, those are primarily diverted and used for projects, not necessarily for everyday tasks or management with the end-user and customer relationship instead of actual large scale projects. CRM Software can be broken down into help desk systems, sales systems, healthcare systems, marketing systems and more. Now with CRM software, you have the option for self-hosted or hosted. Self-hosted means that the organization specifically develops and customizes a CRM for its own purposes, and although that might be a cheaper option and solution for the organization because of the magnitude and gravity of the data being stored, any possible downtime especially within local and physical servers can be disastrous. However, using a hosted CRM software like Xtrant, Sage, or Salesforce (all for different purposes) are akin to cloud solutions for high availability and scalability. With organizations that use a CRM software, the value is within the data itself and all of the possibilities that come with it, that’s why it’s so important to consider whether or not a self-hosted or hosted CRM solution is right for the organization.

Overall, having and using a CRM effectively can help any organization by documenting interactions with clients in an easy to find place. As many of us know people’s memories are not perfect and having notes on previous conversations/emails can improve your relationship with both clients and leads.

To have a CRM will not help your business just by having it, it’s important that with any software the potential is only harnessed when it is used effectively. If you have other team members using this, then when one person goes to contact someone they can see what other team members have discussed with the client. This can help you keep a professional look so when the client asks a question you are not surprised.

Article by Sir. Lappleton III

I'm a happy-go-lucky college student that started a blog as a way to not only document my education and my experiences, but also to share it with whoever stumbles upon my site! Hopefully I can keep you guys entertained as well as learn about a few things from IT as well as from my time and experiences as I plunge deeper and deeper into healthcare! A couple of my areas of focus is data management, system security (cyber security), as well as information technology policy.