Project Description

Episode 17 – When Customer Service and Technology Have a Baby

Welcome to our geeky episode on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems!

Today, Sarah Kappler talks about how essential it is to have your own CRM no matter what size your business is.

What is a CRM and how can it help your business?

It’s a centralized repository of leads and contacts. It’s about being able to systematically follow up with them and deliver a great customer experience. As your business grows and you get more opportunities, a CRM will become essential so you don’t drop the ball even on small things.

At some point, carrying a journal or relying on Excel isn’t going to cut it anymore. With over 600 CRMs in the market, it’s important to understand what kind of information you need to capture and to find the best ways to simplify your processes.

Here are some basic examples:

The Sales Process - This can start with an online form where you gather information. A CRM can assign these new contacts as a lead to be followed up on.

Payment/Purchase History - If someone makes a purchase, you can make a history of it and analyze which products sell the most or understand trends in your customer demographics.


Not all CRMs are created equal. Some may provide more functions than others, while a few may be limited but function extremely well within their scope of support. Here are some free CRMs Sarah recommends for anyone wanting to try them out:

Hubspot Free CRM - includes email sync, web tracking, email marketing & newsletters

Capsule CRM - works well with Gmail, up to 250 contacts, free project management system

When choosing a CRM, you always have to ask: is it as great as free beer? Or is it more of a free puppy? Meaning, will it be easy to use? Or will it be too much work and is it better to just get a paid license?

Sarah’s Advice

As your team grows, your needs change as well. Sarah converses with business managers and makes the assessment on what the perfect CRMs for them are.

But if you prefer to DIY the entire CRM selection process, then here is Sarah’s top advice:

Free trials are your friend. Try it before you buy it so you can get a feel of the product before putting your money into it. You can also try asking for an extension of the trial. Sometimes providers will agree to this to keep you interested.

You can also take Sara’s “Does your business need a CRM?” Quiz to find out how CRMs can help your business grow!

As a self-certified geek and lover of CRM systems, I am always bursting with enthusiasm to share my thoughts and also share my success stories on some tried and tested tools.

What CRM are you currently using? And what do you hope to achieve with your business that a CRM can provide? Let’s gather round and talk about it in the Client Experience Revolution Facebook Group.

See you there!


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Facebook - @sarakapplerconsulting

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