Owning a creative design, web design, or marketing agency requires you to work closely with clients and offer unique services. However, day-to-day tasks such as finding new leads, scheduling project meetings, and providing superior customer service can put a strain on your productivity. You need a way to streamline your processes without getting overwhelmed by your to-do list.
Using a CRM offers several benefits to those working at creative agencies. These software platforms can help automate processes, synchronize different departments’ work efforts, and enhance client interactions. But there are a lot of CRM options out there, so which ones should you focus on? Not to worry — in this article, we’ll look at 7 key features that any CRM solution for agencies should have.
1. Web-to-Lead Functionality
Web-to-lead functionality offers an easy method to capture lead information from your website, landing pages, and splash pages. First, you set up a form on your desired webpage. When a visitor fills it out, they are automatically logged in your CRM system as a potential lead. The CRM also sends an alert to your sales reps so they can efficiently follow up with your new prospect. This feature cuts down on the amount of lead data entry required of your sales and marketing teams. It can also prevent duplicate entries from being created by different team members who are updating the database at the same time.
2. Customization for Increased Productivity
Ideally, you should look for a CRM that can be customized to your operations. One of the main issues that small creative agencies face is data overload. You collect so much information about clients, projects and marketing trends that it can be difficult to organize all of it. A CRM program that allows for customizations, such as the creation of new fields or apps, allows you to capture and organize the data you need. This helps to simplify your workload and increase productivity throughout your organization.
3. Mobile Access
It’s not uncommon for a project manager or creative designer to meet a client at their place of business. But when your team members are out of the office, you want them to be able to stay connected. Search for a CRM that provides user-friendly mobile apps. With a system that can be used on smartphones and tablets, your team can access data instantly and pick up where they left off, anywhere they go.
4. Customer Service Coordination
A client may call your accounting department to find out about their invoice. But during the call, they may bring up a problem with their project that needs to be resolved by your creative team. Unless this information is relayed between departments, the project manager won’t know that they should make a follow-up call. So what’s the solution? Your cloud-based CRM should allow all departments to easily access and update information on clients. This allows your team members to provide better, more consistent customer service.
5. Enhanced Email Communication
More and more business/client interactions are occurring over email. Clients want to know the statuses of projects, web designers want updates on the latest graphics…it never ends! When searching for a CRM for agencies, look for one that integrates seamlessly with your email provider. Whether you’re using Outlook or Gmail, a CRM add-on in your email can provide immediate access to the client’s contact information and past interactions. This type of feature helps you to work more efficiently by centralizing client details right in your inbox.
6. Client Retention Features
Your business doesn’t just survive by converting new leads into clients. It also needs to retain existing clients and provide additional services to them. Any CRM you choose should offer a 360-degree view of each client’s history, including previous interactions, notes, projects, and transactions. This visibility enables you to develop cross-selling and upselling strategies to maintain client loyalty.
7. Client Portal Options
Sometimes, your clients may want to check the status of their invoices or support requests after business hours. That’s why it’s a great idea to select a CRM that offers self-serve portals. These portals allow clients to access their account information and transaction history anytime, without needing to contact you. And the benefits don’t stop there! You could even customize these portals to offer greater functionality, such as allowing clients to submit updates to their projects.
Choosing the Right CRM for Your Agency
Every creative design, web design, and marketing agency is different. As a result, you’ll require a CRM solution that can be uniquely tailored to your business’s processes. The features described here are a great starting point for streamlining or automating common day-to-day operations. But to identify the right CRM for your agency, you’ll need to take a close look at your current processes and determine what additional features will help you work towards your larger company goals.