Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and information systems manage combinations and permutations of cases, contacts, courses, donors, events, helpline, HR, grants, membership, knowledge, projects, relationships, sales, time, etc.
Content management system (CMS) websites traditionally offer information with limited interaction.
What we all really want is to grow out from the CRM to touch stakeholders via the CMS in the form of web self service. In other words, we want stakeholders from outside the organisation to be able to access information and amend records held inside the organisation. (Of course, they must be limited in what they can see and do by appropriate security controls.)
This enable s them to book themselves onto a course or event, update their own contact details when they move house or change mobile phone or email supplier, track progress on their orders, and so on - helping them interact with you in ways that make their life easier. And you benefit as well, by saving time and resources, and often getting more accurate and up to date information.
It’s as clear as day that this is the biggest opportunity for most organisations to provide more services more efficiently to more people, and do it in a way which draws clients, funders, etc. into the organisation, making them feel closer to you, more a part of you. We call it turning your organisation inside out.
But how can you do it?
It helps if your CRM is a web application under your control, if it has role-based security, so you can expose, say, just the a simple membership edit or course search function to a sub-group of users, styled to fit with the CMS.
It helps if your CMS is built using the same architecture as your CRM, can safely expose windows into your CRM, and can send a login command from the CMS to the CRM.
And then you can simply place chunks or spurs of the CRM inside the CMS, like this:
CRM + CMS = integrated CMS–CRM
… that is one powerful formula.
There are more complicated and expensive ways of doing the same thing, but ours is simple, it works, and it has huge potential!
It could work for you.