On March 4, Finnish app provider Cermster announced their iPhone app - Relations Manager as "Social CRM for the iPhone." So, being an iPhone lover, I figured that I'd take a look at the app - and $4.99 didn't seem to be an unreasonable price so I bought it.
Of course, in addition to reviewing the app, I was investigating the claim that it was "Social CRM for the iPhone" since that's a pretty expansive claim given what social CRM is supposed to do. I was looking for it being a mobile device that would handle sales force automation that would enable interactions with customers directly or or marketing that would link customers using it to the comments, ratings and reviews that were available and allow the customer to engage in the dialogue around the products in demand. Or something like that.
Did I find that?
Nope. It is unequivocally NOT Social CRM. Not by a looooong shot.
It is a good iPhone app that adds a useful small dimension to mobile contact management and I sure as hell don't regret buying it.
What Relations Manager Does
As complex as Social CRM may be, Relations Manager is simple. It allows you to both track your contact calls and remind yourself on a regular basis to keep up with particular contacts - something that anyone should find personally valuable and also valuable to their business activities.
Take a look at this screen.
Cermster Relations Manager for iPhone
Essentially, what that simple screen does is:
- Allow me to set how frequently I want to be reminded to call a particular person.
- Keep a record of when that person was actually called.
- Allow me to favorite the contact, or categorize a set of contacts, or make a contact an urgent contact to call when need be.
- It allows me to call the contact right from the screen with autodialing once I click on the button that says (what else) "call now."
- It has a log of my recent calls and a list of the reminders I've set too.
And that is about it. Not deeply functional, not terribly complex. But that's a very useful service especially if you have a large contact database (I have over 3000 contacts).
Okay, so this isn't social CRM despite their claims. Big friggin' deal. This is a useful application that helps you deal with something that we all have to deal with - remembering to call contacts consistently without the awkward calendar or task settings in Outlook and with a way to help you track the calls you have made.
Not bad at all for 5 bucks.