What is a CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, so by definition, CiviCRM is software that helps you manage your relationships with current and prospective customers. Your email and address book are simple methods to perform this task—your email links related messages together, and lets you find all messages from a contact with a quick search, while your address book can hold as much info about your contacts as you require. Even alphabetized documents and your work diary are functions of a CRM.
A true CRM will provide a lot more power and flexibility than these individual tools in an integrated fashion. This is thanks to the R in its name: Relationship. CiviCRM is designed to help you associate the relationships with your contacts: the messages from the same person, the team of people you’ve talked to at the same company and the client who utilizes services from your organisation. They’ll help you see the big picture, and then know exactly what to talk about the next time you email someone—or what interactions your colleagues have already had with them. Better still they allow you to identify unmet needs within your community.
CiviCRM helps you streamline your communication by consolidating and sharing clients, stakeholders, donors and members information within a centralized database. For me, I think the best and most beneficial aspect of CiviCRM for any organisation is the ability to collaborate and share information with all team members and departments. This boosts productivity but also eliminates paper-based administration, saves on duplication, automates processes and provides accuracy and data integrity.
Departments within your organisation will not only work autonomously smarter but also collaboratively smarter. Your data is updated, synchronised and deduplicated at each interaction with your contacts, thus eliminating time spent re-entering or updating data.
All of this allows your organisation to maximize on relationship building opportunities and donor retention. Best of all, CiviCRM is open source, which means it is free and maintained by the Community. Your organization retains rights over your data and there are no on-going license fees.
The Activity function within CiviCRM acts as the hub of all relationships and interactions and tasks you have with your clients, team members, stakeholders, donors, and members.
You can utilize activities to record each interaction and delegate tasks to fellow team members with scheduled reminders.
The Case Management component within CiviCRM provides you the tools to manage, measure and improve your organizational processes. This is achieved by creating workflows as timelines (a group of related activities, in a specific date/time order). A timeline allows you to define one or more expected sets of activities (customizable by each case type) and when these activities should occur. It allows you to predefine when the people assigned to the case should follow up with the client or contact.
For more complex processes, the timeline provides a case plan that can help the people involved to stay on track. The timeline lists all the activities, which are expected to occur and should be accomplished within a certain time frame.
For example: For health care service providers CommunityCRM have worked with, CiviCRM Case Management ensures that your team members follow specific stages throughout the case management cycle. They’re able to record the time taken and notes associated with Assessment and Screening right through to provision of respite care, schedule follow up calls or visits and then close the case once the service is no longer required by the client. The service episodes are based on pre-determined activities, which are later compiled and electronically transmitted to funding bodies for mandatory reporting purposes.
All of this governed with CiviCRM's robust feature set, allows your organisation to further your mission by tapping into demographic statistics and other data enabling you to plan future funding and grant targets.
The mailing component in CiviCRM allows you to email a large group of people as a mass mailout, and access detailed reports on the results and effectiveness of the sent emails.
As a result, CiviCRM allows you to execute better marketing campaigns and donor drives, enabling your organisation to review key statistics about mailouts, including the number of opens, link click-throughs and percentage of failed deliveries (bounces).
CiviCRM can execute marketing campaigns with tailored information pulled directly from your database. Sending out relevant and targeted communications allows you to build stronger relationships.
CiviCRM also allows you to manage contributions made to your organisation and to view all transactions in one place. It provides your organisation with the ability to accept donations and other financial contributions, process membership signups and renewals, run specific fundraising campaigns, batch enter contribution and membership payments using "batches" report . It also allows you to evaluate fundraising results and trends, whilst automatically generating receipts and tracked thank-you notes.
Flexibility and Integration
The beauty of CiviCRM is that you can access your data from anywhere at any time. You can use a computer, iPad or mobile phone even to view real time data. CiviCRM can be integrated with your website allowing for on-line membership renewals and event registration and automatically delivering all that data back into your database.
Unlike proprietary software, there are no licence fees, and each new release of the software reflects the very real needs of its users as enhancements from the community.
Find out more
If all of these benefits and functionality appeal to the needs of your organisation, contact CommunityCRM on (02) 4017 0222 or via email enquiries[at]communitycrm.com[dot]au and we can discuss your specific business requirements and how CiviCRM can meet them.
Find out more about what we do at https://www.communitycrm.com.au
Partner at CommunityCRM
We donate 1% of all sales of CiviCRM and Managed Service Plans to charity.