Acquiring new customers is important to scale up a business, but retaining the existing customers is equally important if you have a long-term vision. Maintaining a good relationship with customers attaches them emotionally with your business and they take pride in referring your products and services to others.
However, as a business scales up, it becomes cumbersome to maintain a healthy relationship with customers. It involves a lot of things including offering support and responding to their queries within the promised timeline. If not done properly, this can result in customer dissatisfaction and negative word of mouth publicity. If you have a business that is scaling up, you might very well relate to this scenario.
An effective CRM software can be of great help here. A CRM software is basically a combination of multiple tools that can be used simultaneously to offer various kinds of support to your existing customers and future prospects systematically. In case you are not finding yourself ready to invest money in a paid software, there are some free and open source CRM software available to start with.
The reason why SuiteCRM is in the first place here is its extensive list of features along with the customization options. It is capable of providing highly actionable insights about the behaviour of the customers that can be further used for a detailed decision making. You can either deploy this CRM software on your own cloud server or on a personal server.
SuiteCRM has the following key features:
OpenTaps is another remarkable open source CRM software, as other than the CRM platform, it integrates additional features like shopping cart, financial analysis, analytics, and E-commerce on a single platform. Some of the well-known companies like Honeywell and Toyota are using this platform.
OpenTaps has also collaborated with the Amazon Web Services cloud to provide their services on a cloud basis, although the user would have to pay for the cloud space. In addition, OpenTaps can also integrate with the GetResponse Email marketing services.
Bitrix24 is mainly a team collaboration tool, like Trello, but also integrates a range of other useful tools, with CRM being the major focus. The list of features in CRM section is so long that it can easily overshadow a dedicated software. Major CRM features include Interaction logging, Sales funnel, Dashboard reporting, Quote Management, Invoicing, Sales targets, Email Marketing, IP Telephony, Marketing automation, Website and landing page creator, and the list goes on.
The storage offered to the free users is around 5GB, with maximum 12 users, and unlimited free contacts. However, the user always has a choice to opt for the paid version, the monthly price for which is $39 per user.
Really Simple Systems is a comprehensive CRM software that is really simple to use. Although the features provided to the free user are relatively less to that of Bitrix24, its simple user interface and 24/7 customer support make it one of the best free CRM software for small businesses. A free account gets access to two users and 100 MB document storage. Once your business starts scaling up, you can upgrade to the starter plan for $14 per user per month, which offers additional features like Two-way MailSync and optional marketing modules.
Insightly is a great option for startups. It's pretty easy to set up, integrates seamlessly with your Gmail and outlook accounts and lets you manage your leads and existing customers in a systematic way. Moreover, you can also use it for email marketing and manage your workflow.
The free version offers you benefits like 2500 free contacts, 2 users maximum, and 200MB of storage space. However, one can opt for the paid version by paying $12 per user per month. The paid users get inbuilt email marketing and cloud deployment services other than the regular CRM features.
Which one's your pick?
While software like SuiteCRM and Bitrix24 are loaded with features to the brim, options like Insightly and Really Simple Systems come with limited features but are very simple to set up and use. The last choice will always be yours, so do a bit of research, try the ones you find suitable on your own before making the final decision. They all are free after all.