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How do i CRM?

Hello,

I'm about to start a business (a travel agency) with a friend. Everything was going ok until he mentioned that a CRM system is a MUST in order to have a sucessful and heatly bussines. Should we invest in a CRM System? and if so, how do i know what kind of CRM ? we've tried 2 so far: peoplesoft(http://www.peoplesoft.com/) and Tustena CRM (http://www.tustena.com/crm/). Any ideas ? Thank you. Mark R

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Try this.

In reply to: How do i CRM?

Pick up a few "trade rags" and see what's offered. Also, be aware that your booking system may dictate what you can load up besides the booking software.

I'll share that I rarely go with a travel agent. I just head to orbitz, jetblue, etc. Yes, I used such a service in the past but found no added value so I cut out the middle man and just use the internet.

-> There you go... You'll have a web site too.

Bob

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What do you want to do with a CRM ?

In reply to: How do i CRM?

Just like any program/software, before you figure out which one to use, you have to figure out what you want to use it for, how do you expect it to help your business. are these things already handled by some other software you are using, and integrated into your business practice already. Another big question for small business: will you have time to do what you think you want to do with the software, and will you have time to feed the information, in a disciplined manner, so that you can use the software.

With that, you come up with a check list of things you want, and things you already have, and things you probably don't have time to do.

Look at the systems and software you are already using. Do they contain some of the information you need already ? Is there a way to extract that and move it into some CRM or whatever it is that you want to do ?

After this, you would be able to ask people to help.

Peoplesoft is quite expensive. Are you sure you even want to consider it.

Did you try some sort of contact address book, sales support type of systems, just to remember who you need to call, and record the call, and customer characteristics (like what cruise they want) ? A reminder function is nice to tell you who to call in the morning.

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Look in to these CRM solutions

In reply to: How do i CRM?

For Startes you should look in to the following CRM. SugarCRM(http//:www.sugarcrm.com) and EnterpriseWizard (http://www.enterprisewizard.com) are both reasonable options and will come in at your price point. Pros and Cons: SugarCRM has robust SFA functionality, but scalability is suspect and I have heard that it is a nightmare to configure and maintain. Of course, they may solve the scalability problems before you really need 1,000 staff logins. EnterpriseWizard is more focussed on Support Automation and is weak on SFA, but they have a great reputation for scalability/deployment time and claim to be beefing up the SFA functionality.

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Those programs seem a little bit overdone ...

In reply to: Look in to these CRM solutions

for a small traffic agency.

Before implementing ANY system, one should think about the requirements.
Some of those might be implemented in a standard travel-agency-application. For others you could use MS Office, including (possibly) Outlook and it's Business Contact Manager extensions. For still more you might need a specialist (small scale) CRM-package.

Things to think about in a travel agency:
- How to keep track of a clients history (bookings, complaints, bills).
- How to USE a client history to generate new contacts (and new bookings, hopefully)
- How to keep in touch with the clients (incoming phones, outgoing telemarketing, e-mail newsletter)
- Scheduling appointments
- What kind of clients: business users (with companies, departments, contact persons, billing departments) are quite different from persons or families.
- Role of sales staff (like: is a particular client coupled to a particular staff member)
- Logging/registering of contacts (client visits office, client phones, client mails)
- Automatic handling of incoming mails

Just saying: you need CRM and this is a good package doesn't help much.

Kees

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