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What CRM Do You Use?

 
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:39 PM   #1
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What CRM Do You Use?


I'm looking to expand my business and the first thing I want to do is build my online presence. I was contacted by Signpost and was impressed with their sales pitch, but know there are other, better options out there based on my quick internet search.

Just curious to hear what CRM platform you use and your feedback on it? Do you like your CRM? Why or why not?

Bonus: If you are familiar with Reputation Management Software, which platform do you use or which would you recommend?

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Old 04-16-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Let me give you what I know since I have limited knowledge, but good experience with this company I am recommending.

Just a warning when looking for a CRM since the industry targets are important for you to make use of a CRM for the right price point. I needed two separate customer referrals to understand this better.

I run MyOnlineToolbox that focuses on helping contractors with their Online Marketing to Get More Quality Leads. I was a speaker at the recent remodeling show in Baltimore and also was in search of a CRM package that I could refer. I met a company that is completely focused in this space and had a lot of references. Really nice group of people. I was more learning at a high level and did not get focused on the details.

But I had two customers ask the same thing (looking for a CRM) and I passed them both along to the company. The first customer found it a perfect match and has been using them for a few months now and has said a lot of nice things about the product, company and price. The second customer decided not to use them, but to be fair their business model is different. Keep in mind that I work with Residential & Commercial Contractors, as well as Specialties, Remodeling and New Home Builders. I would ensure you look at their target markets to ensure you fit the structure.

Now that you are aware of the warning, the name is MarketSharp with the focus of tracking prospects until you close the deal and have a new client. My client tells me they help automate follow-up processes to eliminate anything slipping through the cracks. The system also assists in acquiring more repeat and referral business by proactively nurturing the customer.

The site is www.MarketSharp.com. If you make an inquiry, just say "I learned of you from MyOnlineToolbox who met your team at the Baltimore Remodeling Show". That will help you get a little extra attention. I do not know them for long so you may not get too much extra attention, but give it a try

If you use them, great for you! If you do not, come back and explain why since I would prefer to recommend them for the correct construction circumstances.

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Old 04-17-2019, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Thank you for the insight and reply. I ended up getting a little deep down the rabbit hole and came across Reputation Management Software which seems like the move for me at this moment in time. Are you familiar with RMS? Is it something that can easily be integrated into a CRM platform such as yours, Market Sharp or whoever else?

When I get a bit more free time, I will be digging back into the CRM side. For now, I will likely be testing out BirdEye for an RMS solution.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:00 PM   #4
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Well the RMS is a different topic than CRM. That is not something I know about, plus I would suggest opening another thread so the subject stays on point. Sorry I couldn't help further.
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:35 AM   #5
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


What is it, exactly, that you would like your CRM software to do?

What annual cost is reasonable that you would have to pay for the rest of your business life?

What happens to your records, ability to access data and your reports when you stop paying the monthly fee for the CRM service?
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MOTB View Post
Well the RMS is a different topic than CRM. That is not something I know about, plus I would suggest opening another thread so the subject stays on point. Sorry I couldn't help further.
You were definitely helpful. There is quite a bit of overlap between RMS and CRM platforms, especially with some of the providers, but I'm not familiar enough with the platforms to know all of the nuances yet. I've been doing a lot of research on G2 to see what I can learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daffysplumbing View Post
What is it, exactly, that you would like your CRM software to do?

What annual cost is reasonable that you would have to pay for the rest of your business life?

What happens to your records, ability to access data and your reports when you stop paying the monthly fee for the CRM service?
I would like to find a CRM platform that can be scaled up. At this point, I'd like to automate some things like my appointment confirmations and follow ups after a job is complete to ensure customer satisfaction and consistent, professional messaging in a timely manner.

Eventually, I'd like to keep growing my database, so I can let my customers know when I have specials, host events, or have milestones through larger, automated messaging.

The RMS side of it ties in just from the online reputation management side of things, so that when I do communicate with my customers and there are issues, I have a chance to address them if they go (unintentionally) unchecked by me or my team with the customer otherwise.

I know there are other ways I can utilize a CRM platform, but I'm still educating myself on what other ways it could potentially help me manage and grow my business. Do you have any thoughts or words of wisdom?
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:55 PM   #7
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


I am 100% against paying one penny for any type of canned business software and I run several businesses with free software I picked up from an old friend.

We (my friend and I) are strong believers that every facet of a business should have one simple software program dedicated to that facet i.e. a customer list, CRM, or whatever you want to call it. It has to be free, simple to use and you have to be able to customize it, yourself, so the software does exactly, to a 'T', what you want it to do.

So, if you want to do customer retention management you have one separate software, one for your bookkeeping, one for tracking your daily To Do List that includes service calls, callbacks, appointments, etc., one for tracking active jobs so you can follow through to the end, one for writing contracts, etc.

You don't pay one penny, for the rest of your life for your software and you can still access all your software with a smart phone, tablet, etc..

Downside? I really don't know of any with the exception that it appears that maybe canned software is prettier and it has to be worth more because it is costing a lot of money.

How do you get free software that will do everything you want software do to? Very simple! Go on Ebay, purchase a copy of MS Access 2003, download it to your computer and I will show you, on CT, how to create your own software with already made templates, within minutes.

To access your software from a smart phone you will need a service i.e. GoToMyPC that costs (I think) about $19 per month and everyone you give your password to, i.e. your workers, can access the software, or maybe, you can use TeamViewer for free to access your office computer. I never took the time to see if I can access my computer through TeamViewer without having a person at my office computer. I did make the mistake, one time, of clicking on the button on TeamViewer saying I was using the service for business purposes and had to pay a one-time lifetime fee of $850. I really only wanted to use the service a few times and TeamViewer refunded my money. There is an option for Personal Use that is free for a lifetime., But, being lazy, I pay the $19 per month for GoToMyPc.

For my office, I purchase used computers on Ebay for as little as $39, monitors for as little as $15 and I use these computers solely for my employees to access my software. That way, I don't have to give access to my main computer. While I am willing to give my employees access to my software the truth is I don't think one employee ever logged on because they are too busy and when they want information they always call me and it takes 1 to 2 minutes for me to log on and give them what they want. I don't believe in having my employees nor myself spend lot of time playing with computers when we are in the field. Trying to do computer work in the field is too distracting and it can be done is a much shorter time when in the office. I think the whole world is getting screwed up with too many people staring at their phones every minute. People are spending too much time focusing their eyes on their phone apps when they should be utilizing their time to focus on much more important things. I will show you why and then how we do accurate data entry all day long without accessing our apps every minute and then how we enter our data every morning in a few minutes so that all our data is 100% accurate.

I logon to my office computer no less than 10 times every day to retrieve information i.e. when I want to look up a customer's purchase history. I can look at one database so see a list of every job, how much they paid and look at notes. I access another database that shows the customer's contracts. Another database shows customers' payment history (since my company gives a lot of long-term credit. I can access another database that manages our daily service calls, callbacks and appointments.

I don't believe in entering data into databases from a remote location. One reason is because while I can set security passwords and levels of security, to keep from having remote data entry problems I don't actually use my working databases for online access. To keep from allowing employees to make data entry errors I copy my working database to the computer I use for online access.

One other thing, mentioned, I don't believe in is integrating software with sending any type of text message, or email since that has to be the worse and most impersonal way of doing business. Our customer list software has many systems for creating letters, labels and for tracking and managing advertising campaigns.
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:13 AM   #8
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Quote:
I would like to find a CRM platform that can be scaled up.
Sage CRM.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:58 AM   #9
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


a look at this site, https://nfusz.com/
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Old Yesterday, 03:01 PM   #10
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by daffysplumbing View Post
I am 100% against paying one penny for any type of canned business software and I run several businesses with free software I picked up from an old friend.

We (my friend and I) are strong believers that every facet of a business should have one simple software program dedicated to that facet i.e. a customer list, CRM, or whatever you want to call it. It has to be free, simple to use and you have to be able to customize it, yourself, so the software does exactly, to a 'T', what you want it to do.

So, if you want to do customer retention management you have one separate software, one for your bookkeeping, one for tracking your daily To Do List that includes service calls, callbacks, appointments, etc., one for tracking active jobs so you can follow through to the end, one for writing contracts, etc.

You don't pay one penny, for the rest of your life for your software and you can still access all your software with a smart phone, tablet, etc..

Downside? I really don't know of any with the exception that it appears that maybe canned software is prettier and it has to be worth more because it is costing a lot of money.

How do you get free software that will do everything you want software do to? Very simple! Go on Ebay, purchase a copy of MS Access 2003, download it to your computer and I will show you, on CT, how to create your own software with already made templates, within minutes.

To access your software from a smart phone you will need a service i.e. GoToMyPC that costs (I think) about $19 per month and everyone you give your password to, i.e. your workers, can access the software, or maybe, you can use TeamViewer for free to access your office computer. I never took the time to see if I can access my computer through TeamViewer without having a person at my office computer. I did make the mistake, one time, of clicking on the button on TeamViewer saying I was using the service for business purposes and had to pay a one-time lifetime fee of $850. I really only wanted to use the service a few times and TeamViewer refunded my money. There is an option for Personal Use that is free for a lifetime., But, being lazy, I pay the $19 per month for GoToMyPc.

For my office, I purchase used computers on Ebay for as little as $39, monitors for as little as $15 and I use these computers solely for my employees to access my software. That way, I don't have to give access to my main computer. While I am willing to give my employees access to my software the truth is I don't think one employee ever logged on because they are too busy and when they want information they always call me and it takes 1 to 2 minutes for me to log on and give them what they want. I don't believe in having my employees nor myself spend lot of time playing with computers when we are in the field. Trying to do computer work in the field is too distracting and it can be done is a much shorter time when in the office. I think the whole world is getting screwed up with too many people staring at their phones every minute. People are spending too much time focusing their eyes on their phone apps when they should be utilizing their time to focus on much more important things. I will show you why and then how we do accurate data entry all day long without accessing our apps every minute and then how we enter our data every morning in a few minutes so that all our data is 100% accurate.

I logon to my office computer no less than 10 times every day to retrieve information i.e. when I want to look up a customer's purchase history. I can look at one database so see a list of every job, how much they paid and look at notes. I access another database that shows the customer's contracts. Another database shows customers' payment history (since my company gives a lot of long-term credit. I can access another database that manages our daily service calls, callbacks and appointments.

I don't believe in entering data into databases from a remote location. One reason is because while I can set security passwords and levels of security, to keep from having remote data entry problems I don't actually use my working databases for online access. To keep from allowing employees to make data entry errors I copy my working database to the computer I use for online access.

One other thing, mentioned, I don't believe in is integrating software with sending any type of text message, or email since that has to be the worse and most impersonal way of doing business. Our customer list software has many systems for creating letters, labels and for tracking and managing advertising campaigns.
Very interesting. On one hand, I love the idea of a true work around the SAAS model how just about every provider structures their platforms, but on the other hand it sounds like a time commitment to not only get started, but to execute the campaigns and keep track of everything. I'm ok with paying for a solution that creates efficiencies and enhances my business, but if this solution is comparable and is a true work around, I would be interested. Can you PM more details or your email address if you wouldn't mind taking this conversation into a bit more depth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownGuy View Post
Sage CRM.
Have you or do you use Sage? Can you share a little feedback about your experience?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeforeChristoff View Post
a look at this site, https://nfusz.com/
I see you can tag and track your online photos and content, which would be great to see where traffic is coming from. Have you used this? How do you incorporate it in your day to day for full effectiveness?
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Old Today, 12:55 AM   #11
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Re: What CRM Do You Use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadia View Post
Very interesting. On one hand, I love the idea of a true work around the SAAS model how just about every provider structures their platforms, but on the other hand it sounds like a time commitment to not only get started, but to execute the campaigns and keep track of everything. I'm ok with paying for a solution that creates efficiencies and enhances my business, but if this solution is comparable and is a true work around, I would be interested. Can you PM more details or your email address if you wouldn't mind taking this conversation into a bit more depth?

Have you or do you use Sage? Can you share a little feedback about your experience?

I see you can tag and track your online photos and content, which would be great to see where traffic is coming from. Have you used this? How do you incorporate it in your day to day for full effectiveness?
Efficiency comes automatically when the software when:

it works fast and seamlessly,
screens change fast,
everything you want to do can be done from one screen,
the software does exactly and only what you want it to do,
it works perfectly with your business systems and
it has checks and balances so that it is accurate to-the penny.

The first thing you need to do is purchase MS Access 2003 and then I will set you up with a system that works for you.

Like I said, before, I run several multi-million dollar businesses and use only MS Access. I do not use QuickBooks nor any other software with the exception that I use Quicken Online only for writing my employees' paychecks, but I do not use the software to track paychecks after they are written.

Here is the entire Office Suite with MS Word, Access and more for $17.97 on Ebay. That sounds like the price is too low, or purchase the Office Suite for $49.95.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...+2003&_sacat=0

This price for Sage is from the internet and it is a ridiculous price to pay. The problem with canned software is when you stop paying you own nothing. Even if you purchase the office version for $1495 you still have to pay an annual fee and what happens when you stop paying the annual fee.

Sage CRM Pricing. Sage CRM subscription pricing is $69.00 per user per month. On premise software pricing begins at $1,495 per server and $495 per user license plus an annual support plan in the range of 15% to 21% of the retail price.

Owning your own software is always the best choice. Especially, when you can make it do exactly what you want it to do.

You really have to decide exactly what you want software to do. In my opinion, canned CRM software is definitely not for any type of contractors. CRM software is more for companies with a massive number of customers and/or for tracking and marketing for online businesses.

As a contractor, I would never ever do any type of marketing through emails, text messaging nor would I waste my time with social media advertising because it takes too much management and time. I have no respect for other businesses that send me a text or email to thank me for their business. Whatever happened to the personal touch by calling on the phone, or the best method that is sending a personalized letter to say thank you.

CRM (customer relationship management) for contractors should be more personal and you don't need to pay one penny. I have set up MS Access to automatically send emails and even to dial phone numbers for telemarketing, but later removed those features because customers complained and wrote bad reviews on Yelp when I sent bulk emails to customers and I got bad reviews when I did telemarketing to existing customers. Customers don't want to be bothered with emails, texting, or telemarketing, but they still love the personal touch i.e. receiving a nice personalized letter thanking them for their business, or even advertising with special offers that are only for them and not so much for the general public.

I already have MS Access templates that do everything a contractor needs for CRM, a lot more and it can be customized for your business in minutes, but you need MS Access, first, so you can try it, get familiar, find out what is has and does not have.

Every other software program costs a lot of money and even they have a learning curve and sometimes what you learn after you pay is not so great.

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