Getting Started with Volusion: The CRM

Communicating with your customers while staying organized has never been easier with Volusion’s CRM, or Customer Relationship Management system, by your side. Check out this post to learn how to set it up, view and respond to tickets and even learn about a few advanced settings.

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As an online business owner, you can bet that you’ll be hearing from your customers. Whether it’s questions about your products or requests for more information on their order, you’re sure to get all sorts of contacts. And when you do, you have your Volusion store’s CRM to easily sort it out.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management System, and it’s your way of managing all customer correspondences in one convenient place. When you get a customer inquiry, it’ll show you who the client is, how much they have purchased with you, when their first purchase was and how many correspondences you’ve had with them, all in one page. You can think of the CRM like an email client within your store admin, specifically geared toward giving you the most relevant information needed to best communicate with your customers.

Now that we know what the tool does, let’s learn a little more about setting it up so we can start using it.

 

How do I set up my store’s CRM?

To set up the CRM, you’ll need to:

  • Configure “departments” for the CRM to sort emails into
  • Connect the CRM to one or more email addresses that will be associated with your store

Let’s first tackle setting up departments.

 

Setting up CRM departments

One of the CRM’s main benefits is how it can automatically sort all emails you receive into different departments. You can think of a department like a category. For example, say you have you have three different store emails, sales@mystore.com, returns@mystore.com and questions@mystore.com. You can set it up so that emails sent to sales@mystore.com and returns@mystore.com go to one department, while emails sent to questions@mystore.com go to another.

To make a department, head over to your store admin and go to Customers > CRM System. From there, click on the Manage Departments tab and click on the Add button. Then, simply fill out a Private Name and Public Name for the department, and hit save. (The Private Name is what the department goes by in your admin, and is only visible those in your store admin. The Public Name, on the other hand, will be the name customers see when they send emails to or receive emails from your store.)

As for what departments you create, some ideas could be Returns, Customer Service and Support. However, you can make any department your business may need, with the maximum number of departments being 40.

Now that your departments are set up, let’s get the CRM connected to your email accounts.

 

Setting up CRM email settings

In order to connect the CRM to an email address, you’ll first want to create some Volusion email addresses to connect to. Once you have the email addresses created, go to your store admin and find Customers > CRM System. Then click on the POP3 Settings tab and click on the Add button to add a new email. You can find the details of how to fill out your email account settings in a table in our CRM Knowledge Base article. After you’ve filled them out, be sure to hit Save.

Note: If you want to connect a non-Volusion email to your CRM, keep in mind that some email systems require extra security measures, like SSL certificates, in order to communicate with third party systems. (Google’s Gmail is a prime example of this.) The Volusion CRM does not support SSL integration, so it can’t connect with these types of email systems. If you’d like to use a third-party email address, be sure to check out their requirements beforehand to make sure their requirements match up.

 

How do I view a ticket?

With your departments and emails set up, any messages sent to any of the connected emails will automatically be sorted into their proper departments and show up in the CRM System page.

Messages that have been logged in the CRM are called “tickets,” and each ticket is assigned a ticket number which both administrators and customers can identify it by. The ticket number is also what you’ll click on in the CRM table in order to see that ticket’s contents. When you view a ticket, you’ll be able to see the entire correspondence history, including all messages sent to the customer, all of their replies and any notes or tasks you’ve left yourself.

For easy access to information, tickets are split into two sections: the customer information area and the ticket correspondence area.

The customer information area gives you all of the customer’s basic information, like name and email, if they’re registered with your store. If the customer isn’t registered with your site, you can click Assign a Customer ID to this Email to create a customer ID for that individual or organization.

The second area, the ticket correspondence area, is where you can configure settings for that ticket, as well as where you can add private notes, set a notification, delete the ticket, link files to the ticket and reply.

 

How do I reply to a ticket?

To reply to a ticket, click on the ticket number to pull up its details. Then, navigate to its ticket correspondence area, where you’ll find the Post a Reply section. Here, not only can you craft and send a reply, but you can also add a private note or action item that can only be seen from the store admin.

You can create a private note by selecting the Add Private Note tab next to the Reply tab, specifying the point of contact that provided the source of your private note.  (For example, perhaps your customer mentioned something in a phone call that you’d like to take note of.) To create an action item, select the Add Follower-Up link below the Reply box, then fill out the action to be taken and a deadline.

 

What are some tips and tricks I should know about the CRM?

Since the CRM is as comprehensive as it is, there are plenty of advanced features that can make running your business even easier. Here are just a few to get you started:

Inbound rules: Similar to creating a filter in a typical email client, inbound rules allow further filtering of incoming messages. For example, if your store email starts getting spam from a certain email address, you could create an inbound rule that would automatically delete all messages from that email address.

Customer groups: If you want to keep track of a group of customers as a whole, you can create a customer group. These groups make it easier to compare the tickets of all customers included, which would come in handy if, say, you were particularly interested in the feedback you were getting from customers in Michigan.

Batch processing: Answering a lot of tickets that ask the same question or request the same information has never been easier. Simply select the check boxes next to each order you’d like to process, choose an action from the Batch Action dropdown menu and hit Save.

 

Overall, Volusion’s CRM is a full-fledged customer correspondence system that helps you keep track and respond to all incoming and outgoing messages. It’s there to help things run smoothly, so don’t be afraid to customize it to your heart’s content.

Happy selling!
-Gracelyn Tan, Volusion

About 

Gracelyn was a Communications Specialist at Volusion. She has a BA in English and Philosophy from Rice University, and when not reading or writing, she's dancing, meeting new people or winning staring contests with her cat.

5 Responses to “Getting Started with Volusion: The CRM”

  1. Windows Applications

    My business is no longer specified in which you are taking your info, but great subject. Need to invest some time mastering additional or maybe working out extra. Thanks for superb information and facts I was hunting for these details in my goal.

    Reply
  2. Marie

    We are working on setting up the CRM System, but have run into one big problem. We have our customers contact us through the built in Volusion contact form, but when these emails are brought into the CRM system you can see the HTML. This makes them hard to read and look very unprofessional to our customer.

    Reply
    • Matt Winn

      Hi Marie, thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear that you’re facing a problem. I’ve escalated your issue to our Product team for review and potential inclusion in our product road map. Can you help us better document the issue by also submitting a features request to us at ideas.volusion.com? Thanks very much!

      Reply
      • Chris

        How is it April 2014 and Volusion’s lackluster support staff is just now finding out about this CRM HTML issue, acting like it’s news to them, giving the old “product road map” crap and the “submitting a features request to us at ideas.volusion.com” that clearly go in the trash. I’ve submitted hundreds of these over the years, and nothing has ever happened. The next excuse will be something about their behind-the-curtain-hidden-Oz-developers (they’re always to blame if your questions are too complex), but we’re still too dumb for them to allow us access to the servers to leverage browser caching because then they couldn’t overcharge us on bandwidth fees and our sites might actually load faster if our visitors’ browsers were allowed to cache our sites for longer than ten minutes instead of re-downloading the same info over and over. That HTML issue in the CRM has been around for years, they don’t care, they just act like it’s news to them. I’m surprised you didn’t get the good ol’ exclamation point after the first overly excited big hug sentence, right before you got the ever present apology, then they told you something you already knew or told you nothing at all, or gave you a link you already read twice or you wouldn’t contact support, and then finally you got asked to do them a favor, “Can you help us better document the issue…” What a farce; it’s the same thing every time I contact them. What you should really be worried about with the CRM is how it has zero security, no SSL, and this article makes it sound like Gmail is the bad guy for requiring that your email be secure. It is so easy for hackers to get your email address and password you enter in Volusion to set up that POP3, then hijack your account and spam millions with your email address for your company, all while your account and IP are getting blacklisted. Why in the world would Volusion not require this CRM be used with a secure email client? I can’t wait to leave the little leagues and start paying IBM to build us a site. What a waste of time for me to post here; Volusion will never post this.

        Reply
        • Matt Winn

          Hi Chris, thank you for your detailed feedback. Was able to speak with our Product team regarding your questions and learned that we’ll be updating the CRM to allow for secure POP accounts. We definitely hear your concerns about using Gmail or other secure POP3 accounts with the CRM – good news is that it will be fixed early this summer. Naturally, the issue with HTML rendering as plain text in the CRM is a bit more complex, but we’re actively looking into it.

          I was also able to confirm that our Product and Development teams are entering a big push throughout the rest of the year to address an assortment of enhancements that have been reported to us via merchant feedback to further improve the usability and effectiveness of our platform in terms of your everyday operations.

          Regarding our feedback portal at ideas.volusion.com, our Product team absolutely considers all of the ideas we receive from there as we plan and prioritize our product roadmap. We do receive a lot of feedback there, so unfortunately we can’t implement everything that’s submitted, but we do work to gather common themes and incorporate them into our development cycles. I’m also sorry to hear that you feel our Support staff is lackluster – that team, along with all of us here at Volusion, work very hard to provide you with the service needed to help however we can, so I’m sorry to hear that we haven’t met your expectations.

          Let me know if there’s anything else we can do to help – happy to have someone reach out directly to learn more. Thanks!

          Reply

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