How To Choose an Effective Online Contact Manager

Gone are the days of manual record keeping and endless ledgers books taking up space in our offices. The advent of the Internet and consequent development of online applications have revolutionized the way we do business nowadays.

Electronic data keeping has become the norm rather than the exception in business. This new trend used to become a rather expensive practice, especially for start-up and small businesses because it required hiring staff with specialized computer skills to build and maintain our customer manager databases. Furthermore, we also had to ensure that our customers’ data storage was safely kept in backup disks or hard drives and make sure that we had enough security software installed to protect it from viruses and malicious programs. Thus, the convenience of digitalizing our business contact manager usually meant higher expenses. Those days are also gone!

Nowadays, savvy software engineers have provided our small and medium businesses with a much safer and more affordable alternative. They have created online customer relations management systems which allow us to store our data securely in online databases and provide a faster, more efficient and superior service to our current and prospective customers. Nevertheless, as this industry has grown, the sheer number of them available on the net can make it quite difficult and overwhelming to discern which one is the right one for our business needs. Indeed, not all online business contact managers are created equally.

For instance, there are some business contact managers like Oracle that are more suitable for large businesses and have a steep learning curve for those entrepreneurs that are not very familiar with the Oracle system or working with online databases.   Others that might be simpler to use might lack features that you consider essential for your business and are not customizable. So, how do you know which one is best for your business?

Based on my own experience, I have one rule of thumb when choosing online applications for my business: try it before you buy it.  Most reliable small business contact manager systems offer a demo or free trial which allows you to truly evaluate their full functionality before you buy them. Some, like Clevertim, provide you with a free online version without any time limits or restrictions. They are confident about the quality of their product and services and proud to offer you, the end user, the freedom to choose what features best fit your needs.

Therefore, when choosing a business contact manager, look for full free versions or trial with full functionality. A good online customer management system will offer you flexibility, customization, essential collaboration, business, customer, marketing, and sale applications without extra hassles.