A tale of good CRM

Software is easy, people are hard.  I’ve said it many many times.  Managing your customers take more than software, but software sure can make it easier.  Good software.  Good CRM that makes the customer confident but doesn’t go into the creepy stage.

I have no idea what software Safelite auto glass uses, and this is probably a better story because of that.  I could totally build their CRM in my head in Dynamics CRM, but again, I don’t know (or really care) what software they use.

So, I have a chip in my windshield.  Not sure how or when it happened, other than not long ago, this window is only a few weeks old (that’s Colorado for you).  I call my insurance to make sure that I’m covered for chip repair and setup an appointment.  This was a bit of a miserable call, the agent was obviously new and sticking to their script, and apparently I have little patience on Monday mornings.  But, this was my insurance company, not Safelite.  The good part of this is that they could directly schedule my appointment for the repair (yea, integration!).

Shortly after the call, I get an email confirmation.  Simple, to the point and a little stylized (yea, email marketing add-on!).

This morning I get the following email.  Click on the image, open it up, look at it.

2-19-2014 8-37-01 AM

Let’s review this email.  We’ll start at the image of the technician at the top and go clockwise.

Often these people would be coming to your home, for me it’s my office.  But either way, YEA for giving me a picture of who to expect.  Build trust.  Maybe I’m a young mom home alone with a couple of small kids, super cool to help ease that adult version of stranger danger. 

Around to the column on the right.  Continue that trust building thing.  Tell me about how you check your techs for criminal records, drug screening and driving records.  Now you continue to tell me how skilled they are, not just trustworthy.  Again, lots of points here. 

For me the middle, the body of the email, is meh, mostly irrelevant. 

Now that left column is full of winning.

Confirm customer contact info.

Confirm location details for service.

Confirm car that you are servicing.

Could it get better?

Well, yes, because it doesn’t stop there.

About an hour after the email, Joseph the technician calls me to narrow down the expected time for him to be here.  The email gives a four hour window, on the phone that was cut in half.

Joseph carries a mobile device that shows appointment details.  Comes in, confirms with me and gets the keys to my car.

After fixing the chip in the window, he comes back inside, tells me he’s all done.  Is there anything else?

Before he’s even out of the building, I get the email with the survey link (my response is this blog post).

Good CRM.

Getting ready for Convergence? #Conv14

I know I am.  I hope to see a few of you there.  I will be one four panels this year; two for MVPs and two talking about new features in CRM 2013.

One of the most exciting parts for me of this year’s conference our user group, xRMVirtual, celebrating five years!  It’s hard to believe that five years ago, on a bit of a whim Shan McArthur and I jumped off a cliff and started this great virtual community.  We share a passion for the user community and love to bring the meetings to you every month.

Here’s the standard advice for any professional conference:

  • Good shoes are a must.
  • Have a game plan.  Review sessions in advance, find the ones you must go to.  Know that even if the topic is not something you need to learn RIGHT NOW, that maybe the networking in that session should be your goal.
  • The expo hall has loads of value
  • The parties have loads of value, but this is a professional conference, eat and drink appropriately.  It’s all about the networking and seeing people relax and be real people.
  • Don’t be that one drunk dancing on the stage.  Dancing is good, just be the sober happy dancer.
  • If you are there to build your contact list, then be involved.  Ask questions at sessions, talk to booth staff, etc.
  • Find people you know from online (me?) and say hi introduce yourself.
  • Everyone there is approachable, regardless of their job title. 

See you there.

Why Community? Celebrating #INETA’s birthday

When I got into the software development world by accident many years ago I was amazed at this professional community.  Shocked that there were people out there that wanted to help others, their (gasp!) competitors even, to do better.  To learn.  To share.  And then there were whole groups, a great big organized eco-system of people helping people just because it was the right thing to do, not because someone paid them.  Wow.  Just wow.

I had to be part of it.

I couldn’t watch, I had to DO IT too.

I co-founded and worked with my local .NET group (www.southcolorado.net) for many years.  It was great to watch it grow from two or three people to several hundred.  That group is still going strong and is a great resource for our local professionals.  And with meetings at The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the group has the coolest meeting space that I know of.

From that group we met several other local .NET leaders and together worked to make what started as a code camp but wound up being the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta.  The event was for coders, DBAs, server folks, SharePoint techies and more.  It has been awesome.  These free all day events each had over 500 attendees, giving up their Saturday morning sleep-in time to learn and to share. 

Now my time is spent working with a virtual group for Dynamics CRM developers (www.xrmvirtual.com).  We are about to hit our five-year anniversary with over two thousand members.  With such a specialized technology family a virtual group seemed the way to go to get the audience we needed.  We have had a handful of spin-off traditional groups in areas where there are enough developers to have those meetings.

It is my honor to be here to serve this community.