This is the first of three posts about Professional Advantage’s utilisation of MS Dynamics CRM across the organisation.
Professional Advantage works with companies who seek to improve the performance of their business through the application of technology. Over the years it has assisted more than 1,000 clients to increase revenue and profits, control and reduce costs, improve efficiencies and achieve better value from information. The company employs more than 250 people in offices across Australia, the UK and the US.
Marketing basics: a view of the customer
The foundation of Professional Advantage’s business is its relationship with clients. This requires more than simply knowing who the main contacts are within an organisation. It demands an understanding of the client’s business, their needs and the ability to apply technology to help achieve business goals.
Since the early 2000s Professional Advantage has been achieving this with the help of Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. The software contains customer and prospect data and is the bedrock of all activity. Each client record contains information regarding the equipment and solutions used by the client, maintenance contracts, every service call ever placed, every conversation with a Professional Advantage Business Development Manager, every direct mail piece issued and every Professional Advantage event that the client has attended.
One of the heaviest users of CRM is Professional Advantage’s Support team. Lisa Williamson, Support Manager, explains, “We’re in the system all day. The first time a customer calls in with a question, it is logged into CRM where it is given a unique case number. All subsequent conversations, emails and so on associated with that case are tracked through that number until the issue is resolved.” This removes reliance on any single person and ensures no staff absences affect the company’s ability to provide swift issue resolution.
A QlikView dashboard highlights up-to-the-minute data such as how many cases have been logged or are awaiting resolution, allowing Williamson to identify potential bottlenecks and redistribute workloads for optimal turn-around times. Data is also made available to the client via a secure portal, enabling them to keep tabs on how their support issues are being managed.
Reports and analytics highlight changes in call patterns which may indicate an issue or a need for additional training. “It gives us the opportunity to proactively check if business processes have changed and allows us to have more detailed and meaningful conversations with customers,” Williamson says.