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What is contact management software?
Contact management software enables the storage, tracking, and management of contact information across an organization. Contact management system helps organizations function more effectively by distributing current contact information for customers, contractors, vendors, and more across all levels and locations. These systems help businesses manage and promote leads, archive customer interactions, log employee tasks, report engagement analytics, and schedule events and tasks.
The benefits of contact management software
- Distributed contact information. A contact management system typically tracks and stores the contact information in a universally accessible cloud database. People and companies can be grouped as leads, customers, vendors, employees, and more. Businesses can grant specific users permission to access certain groups. Together, these features make it possible for small businesses to access essential contact information at any time, boosting efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility.
- Rich business intelligence. Informed marketing and sales efforts depend on contact tracking. A contact management system can track customers throughout the sales cycle and compile valuable reports about what is and isn't working. Small businesses can use this business intelligence to make smarter, fact-based decisions.
- Customer service. The right contact management system can improve customer service in several ways. Interaction histories help employees offer more personalized and relevant customer assistance through data about past customer experiences with the company. Some contact manager apps can collect support requests, assign them to representatives, and even schedule callbacks so customers aren't forced to wait on hold. These features ultimately improve customer satisfaction and retention.
Typical features of contact management software
- Interaction tracking: Track daily activities such as contact transfers, emails, and task schedules.
- Contact import and export: Transfer contacts between multiple data sources.
- Contact search and filter: Search and filter contacts within the entire contact database.
- Contact database: Maintain a record of all contacts saved in a database, including details like last interaction, follow-up, and activities.
- Calendar and reminder systems: Add notes to individual contacts and set reminders for scheduled follow-ups.
- Customizable fields: Add, remove, and rename fields used for storing contact details. Customization helps capture different sets of contact details for different campaigns.
- Shared contacts: Share contacts with other applications like Gmail and CRM software.
The contact management software directory lets you filter by feature(s) to only view options that meet your business needs, helping you narrow your software shortlist.
Considerations when purchasing contact management software
- Get the features you need the first time. Capterra found that 66% of businesses that switched to a different contact management system did so because their initial solution lacked the needed features. Affordable or trendy solutions may not offer the tools your small business really needs, so be sure to invest in a system that solves your company's unique problems.
- Know how long your transition will take. Moving to a new contact management system can be a long process. The time from C-suite decision to IT expansion to employee training could take months, or even years. A Capterra research found that 80% of companies implemented their contact management software within 18 months. Some solutions are faster to set up than others, so it's important to balance setup time with your long-term goals.
- Choose strategic integrations with other systems. The best contact management solution for your company might be the one that integrates seamlessly with your existing software. In many ways, contact management software is the critical hub that connects your systems. Social media, email, inventory, project management, and reporting are just some of the integrations available. Build an ecosystem that helps maximize all of your software tools.
Relevant contact management software trends
- Conversational user interfaces will provide better customer service. Intelligent chatbots in contact management software will offer better first-touch assistance to customers in need. Conversational user interfaces have been around for some time, but the technology is growing more sophisticated and reducing employees' ticket volume, allowing faster solutions while cutting costs. According to a Capterra research, 68% of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are using or plan to use conversational user interfaces within the next one to two years.
- Real-time analytics is enhancing customer and agent interaction. Contact center agents hold hundreds of interactions with customers on a regular basis. This generates thousands of data points with which detailed profiles of customers can be created, which can tremendously help agents engage customers in future interactions. Analytics helps in capturing these data points in real time during calls. Additionally, analytics-driven sentimental intelligence measures customers' characteristics on various parameters such as stress level, mood, and loudness of speech. This helps agents to respond to customer interactions more effectively.