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Should You Use Free or Paid CRM Software for Business?

By Noreen Clay Subscribe to RSS | May 17th 2012 | Views:
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Is there a day you wonder if there is some way to improve how consumers do business with your company? Perhaps a customer called to complain why your product hasn’t arrived at his doorstep, or maybe you want to find out if your employees did anything for your customers seeking help. Whatever it is, you’re hoping to find a way to make it easier for both your people and your customers to work things out together.

In industry parlance, the total process in serving customers and their issues are compiled as customer relationship management (CRM). That entails tasks like documenting customers’ complaints, creating and sending notices or reports to other groups for resolution, or even tracking interactions for any patterns or trends. To accomplish all that and perhaps more, software solutions specially designed for CRM are used. You might wonder why go for paid software if you find some given for free, so let’s explore the pros and cons of using each one.

Free

As the saying goes, the best things in life are – supposedly – free. Obviously, it’s a great thing if it’s given away for free and with no strings attached. It’s also a bonus if it’s practically easy to learn and use on your own.

Like anything else, there are drawbacks to using free or “open-source” CRM software. Many designers hardly offer any product support for free software unless they’re paid, which is one way they make up for it. Depending on the software maker, they may or may not have much material incentive to continuously improve or update the CRM software. As a result, the software might encounter “bugs” or issues, especially if its users demand more from it.

Paid

If none of the free or open-source CRM software serves your needs, then it might be time to consider a paid solution. This time, CRM vendors have every reason in the world to ensure their software is consistently supported and upgraded to meet users’ growing and changing demands. With paid software, you’re guaranteed of product quality and ability to do what you need it to do.

Practically, the only drawback to using small business CRM software is – well – you’re paying for it. Some of them are prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, the more expensive the software, the more extensive and industry-strengthened it is for those who need more.

To recap, you don’t spend money on free software, but it might not be supported as much. Whereas, using a paid solution allows CRM vendors to support it and you as ably as they can. You can also read more about them at Dummies.com and EzineArticles.com.

Noreen Clay - About Author:
For more details, search CRM vendors and small business CRM in Google for related information.

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