Travis Warren is caught in that classic small business dilemma: on the one hand, he wants to pursue exciting growth opportunities, but on the other hand he wants to reassure his existing clientele that his company will be there for them.
“Responsiveness is huge. Having me or one of my team calling back a customer within a few hours is how we separate ourselves from our competitors,” says Warren, who is founder and President of the 50-person software service company WhippleHill Communications, which specializes in hosted web-based solutions for private schools across the United States and Canada. As a first step to increasing that responsiveness, Warren decided to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that would help his executives react as quickly as their customers had come to expect.
Although Warren was pleased with the Microsoft® Business Solutions CRM software package that he and his executives chose, he realized that the company was still not quite as nimble as it wanted to be. Accessing the CRM system from the road using laptops was inconvenient, with having to rely on finding dial-up connections. As a result, sales people often delayed inputting their sales data, which meant the CRM system lagged behind actual actions, possibilities and results. With full customer details locked on their laptops, executives also had to wait to sit down at their computers before fully responding to client requests, rather than taking advantage of all of their downtime.
With the goal of being even more mobile, Warren and his team decided on the BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution which would allow them to use their new CRM setup on the go. Using MobileAccess, an application by TenDigits Software, Inc., the company extended the core sales functionality such as the ability to modify data related to contacts, opportunities, leads, accounts, activities and notes to their BlackBerry devices, so that they could access and also update their new solution on the road.
Warren says that being more mobile allows his team to serve their customers even better. Now new leads hot off their web site are pushed immediately to the BlackBerry device of the salesperson for that territory, which appears as an email alert or in the MyLeads folder of their CRM system. Executives are also able to answer calls while on the move, whether commuting or traveling, with full customer details available on their BlackBerry devices.
WhippleHill’s efforts to boost their customer relationship management are also supported by their newfound ability to reply to email on the go, making the company more responsive. “You cannot compare push-based email to anything else out there – I have peace of mind knowing that if my Blackberry device isn’t vibrating, it’s because things are running smoothly, not because I am missing something” says Warren.
BlackBerry® Enterprise Server software integration with Microsoft® Exchange® not only enables the CRM solution itself but also allows him to be more organized.
Continuously connected, with the client information he needs on the run, Warren now has the confidence to reassure his clients that his company will respond both quickly and with up-to-the-minute information at hand.
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BlackBerry Solutions for Small Business
Offers for Small Business - expiring September 30, 2006
CRM information for small and medium business -- see “Webcasts”