The complete CRM vision behind service CRM development

When we built the service CRM– we had some very straightforward goals. Some have been achieved, some will be achieved down the road.

Let me do a quick roadmap sharing and also list the design objectives.

Continue reading “The complete CRM vision behind service CRM development”

Who is Saleswah for?

Customers we serve (and benefit)

Years after we started our journey – our focus continues to be those companies who are selling products and services to other businesses.

CRM tends to be a bit of an omnibus term. Here’s how we explain to customers when we talk. In our view, CRM is a software that helps manage- schedule, track and facilitate all customer facing processes. The way I see it, the difference between ERP and CRM is that ERP manages the processes “inside your gates”. CRM manages “outside the gates” processes.

So, within this broad ambit, there are sales and service processes- both.

Let’s discuss them one by one and position Saleswah appropriately.

Sales CRM

If you are scouting for a Sales CRM, first ask two important questions to yourself:

  • Who is my customer?
  • What is my selling process?

Am I selling to individuals or am I selling to companies? Normally most companies do either one or the other. Your product or service will typically determine your choice of customers.

There are exceptions. For instance, you may be a soft-drinks company and have 2 target segments. Individuals who you target through your retail play and corporates like clubs, airlines, hotels who you sign up with for exclusive deals. While the latter is a B2B sales process, the former is B2C. Saleswah does not cater to B2C process at all.

A B2B sales process will need salesmen with feet on street. There will be territories, hierarchies, target setting and periodic reviews of achievements against targets.

A B2B sales process needs profiling of customers- organizations and people who work for them- for they decide on the purchase. The history of interactions, captured over time guides future interactions.

Why Saleswah Sales CRM?

Saleswah Sales CRM helps sell products and services to other businesses. So, all other entities in Saleswah (Contacts, Deals, Tasks, Appointments, Quotations- and even sales targets and achievements) are linked to the Accounts (companies that you sell to). “Account owners”- sales people who are the first line contact for the customer (Account in question) have primary ownership of targets, get rewarded for achievements (deals won) in the accounts, get assigned tasks related to the accounts and so on.

Does the above describe your sales process?

Ask for a demo or Register for a free trial.

Service CRM

If you are looking for a Service CRM, the defining questions are:

  • What is my product or service that I need to provide after sales service for?
  • What is my post-sales service process?
  • Do I provide in customer site or does he bring the product in for service?

There are many products that require no post sales service. Most home furniture, consumables etc require no service. Some products may simply be too inexpensive to require customer service.

But, many products- home appliances and industrial products  (and even services- think the cable TV or broadband service) require services to keep going. Many software products which are customer premise installable, require service as well.

Service can be during the warranty period and after.

Service can even include installation support. And, typically warranty coverage kicks in after installation is complete.

There are products that the customer brings in to be serviced to the service station. Think cars or laser printers or laptops.

But there are many products that are only serviced on-site. Home appliances, large machines – Diesel Gensets, Chillers, CNC machines. Some machines are serviced onsite for minor complaints and brought in to the service centre for major work.

Software support is normally always onsite- this is irrespective whether it is an installable software like Tally or cloud based software. Of course, you may end up providing the support on phone, email or internet.

Why Saleswah Service CRM

Saleswah Service CRM helps manage after sales service processes that require:

  • Onsite services.
  • Tracking warranty and/ or Maintenance contract based service.
  • Require field visits tracking.
  • Asset management- based on serial numbers.
  • Managing out of support cases.

Saleswah can help manage large installed base of equipment- running into tens or even hundreds of thousands. It can easily scale to hundreds of users, many roles and hierarchies and and a complex process of onsite service deliverable.

If you are looking for a easy to use service CRM which can scale to the most complex of requirements,

Ask for a demo or Register for a free trial.

Field service case study of heavy engineering equipment

service crmSaleswah CRM is being used for field maintenance of about 35000 Diesel Generator Sets by a customer. Many of these DG sets are located in remote parts of India. They are installed in Telecom Towers for providing backup power.

A service team of about 30 managers oversee 90 service dealers who employ about 700 service technicians. The service technicians attend to field visits- for repair and preventive maintenance. They are kept supplied with spares. The service is provided under stringent SLA conditions.

See this for more details of the implementation.

The field technicians use the Saleswah CRM mobile app- for service  to update the status of the ticket from the field. The service dealers and the managers use the mobile app to stay updated on the open tickets status. They also use the web based application for more involved tasks such as approvals, audits, billing, certification and so on.

After couple of years of use, the customer shared their feedback on what their strategic and operational objectives were and how close they have come to meeting them. We put their feedback in the slide deck that follows.

Have a look at the field service case study.

[slideshare id=87521886&doc=servicecrmprsentationcasestudy-180208134101]

Re-posting: lessons from building a large field service CRM

Re-posting an article originally posted in LinkedIn

field service CRM dashboard

We recently built and deployed a large field service CRM platform for maintaining capital goods installed in remote sites- okay, Telecom Towers in all parts of India. We have almost 1000 registered users on the platform – most of them mobile technicians.

We summarized our learning, here:

  1. Bad or inefficient workflows, “wrapped in code”, is simply bad for everyone. Work with clean workflows.
  2. A purpose built software is a racehorse- trying to make it work as a mule- work for some other scenario, is counter-productive.
  3. No matter how good the internet connectivity- customers will always want offline use.
  4. There is a huge scope for analytics and reporting tools.

Finally, our insights gained from above helped us create our own workhorse field service CRM product on the Saleswah platform.

Location tracking CRM- searching for GPS

The lowdown on location tracking

GPS tracking is one of the most used feature on your smartphone- whether we realise it or not. GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) based tracking is most used by the map on your phone- to provide you directions and navigational help.

The accuracy with which your location is pinpointed on a map is amazing and as a user, we do not often need to know more. This post is for those who are curious to know more and indeed those who use our CRM to track their sales or service team.

GPS is not the only way- simply most accurate

As you switch on your phone and connect to the internet, there are ways your location can be found- though not as accurately as with a GPS. Your WiFi gives away your location, as does your mobile connection. The mobile base station to which you are connected knows you!

GPS does not need the internet

The biggest fallacy we have in our head is that GPS needs the internet. It does not. It requires your phone’s hardware to establish track with 3 or more satellites circling overhead. The moment it does that, it can establish your “Geo-location”- basically where you are on planet earth- with a fair degree of accuracy. Commercial satellites give you around 20 metres accuracy. The more colloquial term for geo-location is “Lat-Long”- short for Latitude and Longitude. These are the co-ordinates that your phone is provided by the satellites.

GPS has no connection with a map

GPS does not know your physical address; the way you or I understand addresses. It does not know 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 10 Downing Street. That is where Google (or similar map providers) come in. They have a map of every little corner of the world with forever improving details and accuracy. It is they who provide the correlation between the GPS co-ordinate provided by your phone and your physical location. The map providers interpret the Lat-Long data to tell you that you are standing in Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

To interpret the Lat Long data, you need internet connection

When you open Google Maps, it checks for your Lat Long data in the phone and checks with its servers about what the corresponding address is. If your internet connection is off, Google Maps will not be able to get the answer.

But what if there is no GPS signal to get the location data in the first place?

Then Google maps will give you erratic and erroneous data. It might have the last stored Lat Long data in your phone, which may be in reality a few meters to a hundreds of kilometers away. How many of you have experienced driving on the highway, navigating on Google maps and suddenly you hear this “GPS signal lost”, and your phone displays “Searching for GPS”? All of us, right?

How Saleswah CRM users are affected by location tracking

We use the combination of GPS co-ordinates and Google Maps to provide direction assistance and location tracking to field sales and support people using our CRM.

Site address stored in CRM

location tracking assistance in service CRM

Locating service site- location tracking in service CRM

Several things can go wrong

  1. Your phone may not have location tracking on. So, no Lat Long data and without that no map assistance. You will see a message like- “Sorry, your location is not found”

It is important to understand that you may get the same message even if your location tracking is turned on but your phone has lost connection with satellites. It can happen. And if you click through to this link, you shall find that this issue can afflict Google Maps as well!

There may be several solutions- but, usually this issue itself is temporary and the GPS tracking resumes after some time. Understand that GPS is provided by your phone hardware. Apps (whether Google Maps or Saleswah CRM) only access the provided GPS to guide you.

2. Your internet connection on your phone may not be working

If that is the case, your Lat Long will not be interpreted as a physical address. And your location on the map will be erroneous.

It is very rare for it to be the fault of the software. There, I said it!

While it is tempting to think the software is at fault- many times, it is not. The good news is that GPS problems resolve soon. And we do have a responsive customer care, if everything else fails.

Not just sales! Saleswah for service management

Saleswah CRM announces the most comprehensive service management product

Why does a comprehensive service management product need to ride on a sales management platform? To illustrate, let me tell you a story.

Long back, two insurance companies (A and B) went to war over customer mindshare. To beat the rather staid promise of A to take care of your lifelong needs, the company B came up with the lot more colourful “cradle to grave” promise. That worked well, so well, that the company A’s ad agency was driven to desperation to come up with a suitable riposte.

At long last, they did! Their new slogan, was: “From inception to resurrection”!!!

Okay, so I made it up- or relayed an old joke. But, there are many reasons, why “inception to resurrection” might just be the better description of what the actual customer lifecycle is.

When the product is but only a need, nebulous at that in the customer’s mind, it is at the inception stage. We work with the customer to give it shape, focus him on the solution we are offering and then sale happens! In an enterprise, you get a PO which you send to your order processing who make the shipment.

So far, as you can tell, this is the phase Saleswah helped you manage.

Pre-sales management in Saleswah

In enterprise sales, very often one closed deal- won business- does not necessarily lead to another one immediately. So, you may have installed bases which appear active but there may be others which are not. They might wake up months or even years later, or they might not.

Worse, your sales and aftersales may not talk. So, service may not know all the commitments that sales made to get the business. On the other hand, sales may allow competition to come in during the long hibernation period.

Sales and service on the same continuum

For true CRM, the whole organization needs to be involved in managing the customer expectations and relationship. CRM is not just a sales management tool, it is a tool for managing customer relationship as related to the product and service that you are selling. Sales helps get you in; but service keep you there.

Comprehensive service management

Comprehensive service management : from where sales ends

We did toy with the thought of having a standalone service management product. To be honest, you can use the Saleswah CRM only for Sales or even only for comprehensive service management. But, the real power of the software comes through in managing your entire sales to support continuum.

Because, you see, many customer relations could do with a resurrection. And, rather than cradle to grave- which implies a closure, resurrection is what you aim for. Having your sales and service in the same platform helps you do that.


Nurture installed base: customer service CRM

Service CRM

Most people agree that is takes 5 to ten times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one happy. So, it’s natural to want to nurture the installed base – folks who have purchased from you in the past.

As a CRM strategy, nurturing the installed base takes different paths.

Most models focus on logging events and interactions – meetings, proposals, quotations, orders (won/ lost). Then you have history and you can create your own interaction plan. Even have the system trigger you for pre-determined actions.

The other approach is to approach it from a service CRM mindset. Keep proper track of what you have sold, attend service calls, make him happy he ever bought from you.

And, yes: you can generate revenue from the service as well. Have the CRM help in reminding you to send quotations for contract renewals. Send out spares quotes.

These approaches need not be “either-or”. You can do both.

You can’t do service if you don’t have sales- but, service is just another way of selling. Service CRM is not just a product – it is the way you think.