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Even small businesses need to manage their customers
Having recently recommended our Customer Relationship Management system, Capsule, to two small businesses, I thought I’d explain why I’m so pleased we chose such a fantastic system so you could consider using it too.
If you’re new to the idea, a CRM is just a way of keeping stuff organised. They’re used by businesses to keep on top of what’s going on with the business and track and manage customer information. It’s basically a very organised noticeboard with everything from emails, calls calendars and projects displayed in a clear way.
When we first started out, we knew all our clients very well and could remember everything about them (especially Todd – he has a great memory for passwords!). But when our client base expanded we knew we needed a system that would help us keep track of everything that we were doing for each client, and to help us complete work on time.
Why do we love Capsule?
It has a beautifully clear and simple layout. It’s so easy to navigate, it’s completely intuitive and it looks clean. The home timeline stream of events is a great snapshot of what we’re both up to and we can clearly see which client we have interacted with recently.
Each member of the team has their own profile and you can assign tasks to them and vice versa. It’s great to be able to log into just your own profile and see what you have to do having farmed out other tasks to your team, and we don’t have any post-it notes flying around the office anymore.
Capsule tells me what to do. My daily tasks are emailed to me first thing every morning, reminding me to get up and on with it. You can also subscribe to the calendar link, which then drops all these tasks into your iCal or similar cloud calendar.
It’s backed up in the Cloud in real time so is accessible to us but the data is securely encrypted. To be honest the security is less of an issue to me because I can’t think of anyone who would care what the title of our latest blog for a certain client was, but I know it’s important!
Also because it’s in the cloud we can access the details from our iPhone apps and update, interact and even call directly from the customer profile. We can be having a drink in the pub and remember that we need to do something. There are no complicated emails or to do lists; we just add a task to the contact and carry on drinking – simple!
You can update Capsule by simply BCCing a special Capsule email address linked to Dropbox into all client correspondence. It then adds the email content INCLUDING ATTACHMENTS into the system so we always have an updated version of the information. I love this function as all quotes and details are automatically put into the system.
Likewise, it integrates with our invoicing/accounting software Freshbooks. One click and we export the client details from Capsule to Freshbooks, where we can create an invoice in seconds. I can’t begin to explain the stress I used to experience before we set this up. A simple Excel invoice took me a long time because I’m not very confident with numbers.
Capsule also pairs up with Mailchimp so you can directly email various categories of your contacts – for example current clients, without emailing leads or suppliers. There are a whole load of nifty
We can spy on clients! Because Capsule pulls social media streams into the feed of information, we can see when people are posting and online. This makes it useful if we’re trying to catch up with someone because we know they’re around and can tweet them or email them. It also gives us a nice little snapshot of what they’re sharing on social media.
It can plan
We can guess the future! We don’t use this as much as we could, but you can forecast sales and give you good idea of what’s in the pipeline. This can help us stay focused on future projects and also allows us to assign a potential monetary value to it too.
Another handy thing is that I can have a meeting and add the details to Capsule, and Todd can just read my notes later – so there’s no need for lengthy catch-up meetings. Our clients get a slick operation and we look like an organised team – it’s a win-win for our business!
All in all, Capsule CRM keeps our minds full of the important stuff like marketing ideas and tweets while all the customer interactions, calls, emails, projects, jobs, potential work and all their details are kept organised and ready to remind us what’s happening next.
We love our CRM and we won’t be changing it anytime soon. The simple operation and neat integration with our iPhones, Dropbox and Freshbooks invoicing is life-changing and helps us run our business more smoothly.
And it’s cheap!
I haven’t even got to best part yet. At only £8 per month per user it’s cheap as chips!
If you’d like to have a look at Capsule, use this affiliate link and let us know what you think.
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