A Client Could Go Missing

I'm LostI like to be organized. It’s part of my being. Sometimes, I find myself getting caught up in the details of organizing and lose focus of the actual goal. It’s like a football team where the quarterback does an excellent job calling the play and getting the line set but never passes the ball to the receiver. Make sense? Or, how about this one. Imagine getting all the ingredients together to bake a delicious German Chocolate cake. You spent time preparing the pans, preheating the oven and precisely measuring all the ingredients. But, sadly you don’t mix and bake the cake.

Since I know I have this problem getting caught up in the minutiae of things, I look for ways to keep myself focused and moving forward. One of the tools that keeps me on track is a Customer (or Client) Relationship Manager (CRM) application I use. If you’re not familiar with this type of software, it’s used to keep all the most meaningful information about clients in one easy to access location.

When CRM works, it makes dealing with my clients a dream. The beauty of it is that I can retrieve the details of projects, phone conversations, and e-mail and know when I was last in contact with a particular client. I can create tasks and connect them to specific clients. I create categories for clients I need to follow up with and prospects I need to create introductions to. I also use it for sending my monthly e-mail campaign. It makes the task of working with clients so much easier.

Recently, the developers of my CRM application apparently stopped supporting it. There hasn’t been an update since last October. The developer’s support wiki and customer centric forum have been shut down “for maintenance” since April 2012. With recent Mac operating system upgrades, the CRM is starting to fail. It sporadically forgets updates I’ve made to client contact information. Contacts wonder from category to category and eventually end up stopping outside of all categories. I can no longer export contacts to a mailing list, the ability to send perfectly formed e-mails from the CRM works only when the moon is full, or so it seems. My CRM is now what I consider dog-doo.

So, I’m in the market for a replacement. I’m sure there are a number of options and I’m going to test drive them until I find the one CRM that will make my life tracking clients and their information a breeze. I need it soon. By tomorrow. Well, maybe not that soon. But soon!

I’ve started a list of contenders for the one that will replace my CRM. It’s the beginning of organizing my quest for a new and better client herder. I’m a Mac guy so my choices seem to be significantly less than for PCs. Maybe PC folks need more organizing than Mac boys and girls? I digress. I’m bitter. I just want my CRM to work! I’ll let you know what I find. And if you’ve got a Mac CRM (or a better way to manage clients) you couldn’t possibly function without, tell me.

Stay tuned.

 

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11 thoughts on “A Client Could Go Missing

  1. lindajoyvoiceover March 16, 2013 / 4:28 pm

    Hi J.Christopher –

    One of the questions in last years VOAT (Courvo’s voice over awarness today) was “What CRM do you use?”

    Here is the link to all the informative answers given by our colleagues:

    http://voatoday.com/category/2012/wk312/

    Hope you find a great new one!!
    Linda

    Like

    • JCDunn March 16, 2013 / 4:57 pm

      Hey Linda!

      I knew that somebody would have a beehive of an answer. I’ll take a dive into the list and see what magic bits of sweetness I come up with. Thanks!!!

      Blustery and overcast on the island today. We had a preview of what Spring will look like yesterday and it was VERY nice!

      J.

      Like

  2. Alisa Beckwith March 16, 2013 / 9:58 pm

    Great information from both you and Lindajoyvoice. Thanks!

    Like

  3. Paul E. Garner March 20, 2013 / 11:06 pm

    There you go, Chris! Making me learn something again!;)
    Thanks for the great information from you and Linda!

    Like

  4. Debbie Irwin May 2, 2013 / 7:00 am

    First I started with the Contacts program on my Mac, after that I customized a version of Bento (a baby File Maker software program), then I graduated to BatchBook, but even after a year of BB we never quite clicked.

    I’m back to using my Contacts, along with Happy Grasshopper and MailChimp.
    Perfect? Hardly.

    One of the unique (to me) issues I had with Batchbook (and any cloud based program),
    is how many steps it would take for me to get a client’s address off my phone– something I need to do often and quickly as I exit the NYC subway and run to a studio for auditions or sessions……

    Will look at the suggestions above…. even adopting one of these programs can be a big commitment. Probably better to try it with a few names instead of importing all your info, while learning how to organize the info properly in the new program, and learn its functionality, etc.

    Still looking for love, up to now, in all the wrong places….. 😉

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn May 3, 2013 / 9:25 am

      Hi Debbie – Ramping up on a new app is a big deal. Once I find something that works I remain faithful.

      I’ve looked at most of the CRMs listed above and none fit what I’m looking for. am I picky? Yes.

      While I appreciate connections to social networking, I’m more interested in tight integration with my e-mail, contacts, calendar and tasks.

      Being serviced from the cloud is right up there with social networking linkage. Nice but not necessary. Ugh!

      Maybe if I just ignore all the CRMs one will catch my eye. I just have to stop trying sooo hard.

      Like

  5. scooteray July 22, 2013 / 2:06 pm

    Have you settled on a CRM app yet?

    Like

    • J. Christopher Dunn July 22, 2013 / 3:05 pm

      The search for a replacement CRM continues. I would like to have said that I had but I’ve not found one that does the same as what I was using (still using a limping along with it). I’ve looked at a number of apps and most seem to be VERY social media centric. I really need one that ties into my Mac Mail inbox.

      Like

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