Spreadsheets are often the go-to tool for data collection and number crunching in business. Without them, many businesses would struggle to maximise their efficiency. However, spreadsheets are not perfect and are often overused to the point where many people use them for their incorrect purpose. Project management and customer relationship management are both long term and complex, especially in the housebuilding industry where relationships with customers can span upwards of 10 years. Spreadsheets can prove to be a significant limitation. Here are our top 5 reasons as to why it is time to swap your messy spreadsheets for a high quality and sophisticated customer relationship management system.
Collaborating is extremely difficult
Real-time collaboration can be a real barrier when managing even the smallest of projects using spreadsheets. Managing projects in spreadsheets require a lot of time and effort and can be extremely fragile. Formulae can be fiddly to the point where thousands of data entries can be incorrect because of one small mistake, and, if multiple people are working on a project at once, these mistakes can be extremely difficult to trace and fix when using spreadsheets. The bigger the project, the bigger the consequences. You often find that businesses using Microsoft Excel have employees all using different versions of the software, which can lead to many issues; the last thing you want when dealing with customers is to be worrying about lost data.
Lack of reporting
Accessing reports with the click of a button is essential for efficiency when managing customer relationships. Spreadsheet software does not do that for you on its own. Having access to reports faster will give you the important insights you need quickly so action can be taken sooner rather than later. Analysing data gives you the knowledge you need to make smarter selling decisions, essential for the success of your company – all possible using a high-quality customer relationship management system.
Difficult to track customer journey
All customers have different wants and needs. A decent sized new home building company will have hundreds if not thousands of customer connections, some of whom may require more qualitative data entries than others. Spreadsheets are solely focused on quantitative data management meaning writing notes on a customer can be extremely difficult. If your data consists heavily of numbers, spreadsheets might be beneficial to some extent, but people are far more complex than numbers. On the other hand, customer relationship management systems such as Housebuilder Pro offer far more sophisticated tools for lead management; qualitative data sets such as customers’ names, addresses, sales statuses and notes can all be stored and displayed in a far more organised manner.
Limited software integrations
Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are designed and built to work alongside other software created by their respected companies. Excel is designed to integrate well with other Microsoft Office products such as Word, Access or PowerPoint. If your business relies on non-Office-based software, transferring data across can be extremely difficult. Customer relationship management software brands often have integration options already available for a variety of other brands that provide their own niche benefit to the system. For example, Housebuilder Pro recently announced the seamless integration of Tardis4G systems, allowing Housebuilder Pro software to be accessed on any device even in the most remote locations without any good cellular signal or broadband.
The threat of data security
Data protection has been a phrase that has been in the news frequently over the last couple of years. High quality customer relationship management software will have all the necessary security features in place to ensure that no sensitive data can be accessed by the wrong people. Excel spreadsheets are often all over the place: loosely stored on desktops, sent via unsecure email networks, left open on laptops. Sensitive data such as customer names and addresses need to be protected.
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