Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has just introduced a new Customer relationship management (CRM) tool for small businesses called Outlook Customer Manager. The release Follows the launch of the new customer scheduling tool Bookings earlier this year.
In a post on its official Office Blogs, Microsoft’s outlook team describes the tool as, ‘”Relationships made easy for small businesses.”
As more small businesses deploy Office 365, many of the cloud productivity and collaboration tools within the suite of products can now be used for seamless CRM integration.
Bookings simplified the way small businesses schedule appointments with customers. With the new Outlook Customer Manager, you can now manage your customer relationship just as easily, the company claims.
The Outlook Customer Manager platform lets you track reminders, deals in progress, tasks and other ways in which you interact with a customer in a complete view. You will now be able to see everything you do with your customers at all times, the Outlook claims. And best of all, the company says you don’t have to learn or install another application because it all takes place within Outlook inbox with a single click on the icon.
The platform is designed to let you get all of your customer’s information on the same page and in one place next to your inbox. The idea is that if you need to take action on an item, you are less likely to forget this way.
You can also access Outlook Customer Manager on the go with your mobile device. The mobile app lets you access the same information as on your desktop, the Outlook team says. This enables you to check the latest information about your customer before you meet them. It also gives you the option to add more notes after the meeting has taken place. The company says you can even use the app to scan documents and business cards using your phone’s camera. The mobile app is currently only available for iOS, with other platforms coming soon.
Outlook Customer Manager is available at no extra cost with an Office 365 Business Premium subscription starting with those in First Release. Global availability will be in the coming months, with availability to E3 and E5 subscribers coming in the future.
This is great news. It is good to see the bigger players in the IT world enabling their Enterprise level products in the SMB sector. I will give certainly give this a good, anything to help keep the right information in the right place.
The integration with Outlook is a great idea. It makes it a one stop shop to interact with your customers when you check your email through out the day.
Do you think that they will include analytical CRM for different data trends that lead you to see patterns of customers’ behaviour, profile similarities and preferences?
As I understand it, if you want to get more granular data you have add Microsoft’s full CRM to the mix, Microsoft Dynamics. You should check with the company to be 100 percent sure though.
Don’t let Microsoft kid you, this is not launched and not finalized. No one has the install and if you ask them, they will tell you it’s a controlled rollout. It’s been 4 months