When it comes to managing your customers, delivering effective customer support and maximising sales, having a reliable, easy to use CRM system is incredibly valuable.
There are a lot of different platforms available, ranging significantly in terms of price, features and quality, and wading through all the options and deciding which one to go for can be a real challenge.
In this post, we examine Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, exploring its features, benefits and downsides.
Effective data management is an essential feature for any good CRM platform, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM does everything you need fairly well.
It’s no better than many other systems available, but does provide a good range of user set configurations to monitor, track and manage changes to customer data. It’s also really easy to manage and weed out duplicate data, thanks to the ability to quickly create sweeping rules covering multiple fields.
Interface and usability
For 2015, the interface has been significantly updated, and it looks a lot like Windows 8 – with an icon heavy navigation system that feels familiar. Menus are easy to navigate, and screens can be fully customised to meet each user’s preference.
The only downside of the interface is that navigation can be a little sluggish for certain tasks, and you sometimes need to click through a few more screens than feels strictly necessary.
Reporting and analytics
One of the platform’s biggest strengths lies in the depth and intuitive nature of the reporting and analytics.
In addition to a selection of easy to run pre-made reports, you can also integrate with Excel files for seamless cross-platform working. The dashboards are a cut above any other system we’ve tried – and creating beautiful visualisations, charts and graphs for reports is quick, easy and satisfying.
Customer support and reliability
The online manuals, live support and extensive blogs mean that if you’ve got a problem with the platform or are unsure how to do something, you’ll almost certainly be able to find the solution pretty quickly.
When we had problems and queries during testing, online support engineers were swift to respond. In addition, the helpful moderation team on the well-populated, active forums replied to the threads we started in a timely fashion.
Another big plus point for the software is the reliability. It comes supported by an uptime guarantee – great for security and peace of mind for those who rely heavily on a CRM system for day-to-day operations.
Pricing wise, it’s fairly competitive, with a subscription rate of $65 per month, and combined packages with Office 365 subscriptions also available.
Whilst it lacks some of the advanced features of the market leaders (most of which are superfluous for the majority of businesses), it’s a simple, affordable and reliable CRM system. The user-friendly interface that feels familiar and is easy to use, and the software package provides everything needed for the majority of companies.
It also integrates seamlessly with Office 365 – a big bonus for those who already use the software platform.
On the downside, it sometimes feels a bit slow and clunky, and you’ll need some decent tech knowledge if you’re going to be delving into some of the more advanced features.