Does Outlook have CRM potential for small businesses?

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Microsoft Outlook can be used as the basis for a small business customer relationship management (CRM) solution, it has been claimed.

James Wong, founder of Avidian Technologies, told Small Business Trends how his company has added CRM functionality to Microsoft's information manager.

He noted that businesses are already managing 50 to 60 per cent of their customer activities inside of Outlook.

"They are emailing their clients or prospects, creating calendar appointments, contacts, and now with the proliferation of mobile with their phones, with their [tablets]," Mr Wong explained.

"Every mobile device out there, what they have in common is that they have to sync with Outlook - because 90 per cent of your office workers are in Outlook."

He said that for CRM to be successful, contacts need to be created in the system, and emails need to be sent from there.

Mr Wong suggested it makes sense to retain the familiarity of Outlook - given that it is so popular with professional people - but add CRM features to support a wider range of tasks.

He noted that Outlook was never designed as a contact management or CRM application, but his firm's Profit CRM solution turns the programme into just that.

Posted by Jenny Arthur