August 26, 2014
SugarCRM: Offering Sweet Insight and Better Customer Relations
By Maurice Nagle
TMCnet Web Editor
The world is in a different place today than 10 years ago - old legacy customer relationship software was great for data entry, but people were burdened by the drudgery of data entry. One company chose to empower individuals to provide exceptional customer service. Now celebrating its 10 year anniversary this summer, SugarCRM (News - Alert) has over 1.5 million users in 120 countries—carrying with it a strong global perspective.
Sugar provides a unique platform that is easy to scale to individual needs, offering customization of the platform as a central hub to all users and customer facing employees in the company.
In today’s ever-changing business climate there are few certainties, one is you must treat the customer right. Sugar’s chief marketing officer, Jennifer Stagnaro told TMC (News - Alert) in a recent interview. “You must know your customer…you can’t opt out of customer service,” she said, “we are here to empower the individual within the organization so they can connect deeper and smarter with their customers. In essence, SugarCRM is flipping the model so the individual can provide exceptional customer service experiences with every action.”
Companies ahead of the curve are hearing the customer and interacting with them in the ways they want to interact, hence this notion of the “omnichannel.”
One company with an interesting take on this is VetAdvisor. The company exists to help veterans with their careers, social and physical well-being. They are using Sugar software to collect fitness data and automate data collection straight from a wearable. The beauty about this, especially for VetAdvisor, is that it allowed them to scale and handle six times the amount of vets before adopting the Sugar software.
Another interesting application of SugarCRM software is by Hillel, a religious organization focused on the enrichment of Jewish students. Sugar is being used to enrich their spiritual journey and attract people of faith to offer them the opportunity to go deeper in their belief and more globally involved.
Sugar built an app that integrated Facebook (News - Alert) to sugar so that student volunteers could populate a database and collect data. The group is looking into ways to expand on following students past graduation.
Another trend SugarCRM discussed was Data insights, and the question of, “how do you provide value?” Data is only valuable if it can provide the priceless insight necessary to any business. One company actively embracing the data trend is BancVue.
BancVue provides products and services to small financial institutions to help them compete with bigger banks. It is founded on a belief in community, and BancVue is leveraging SugarCRM's platform to identify potential targets for assistance. It created a “health check,” where it is easy to compare a prospective “client” with similar banks and create a reference point. From that reference point a list of “leads” can easily be created.
The reference point is created from both external and CRM data, providing a powerful way of providing the right information to sales to tangibly create value in leads. At BancVue, 90 percent of employees use the system by tracking local demographics and use to sell its banking services as well as constantly monitor customer behavior. Sugar allows multiple systems to easily and seamlessly be brought together.
The customer journey has never been more critical than it is now, and by tapping into the customer lifecycle invaluable insight is gained. Whether you are Comcast (News - Alert), United Airlines or Target; one bad experience and you’re company is all over the Internet—not the kind of PR one is looking for. As vice president of corporate marketing for SugarCRM, Jodi Guilbault said, “In the social era, this is the cost of doing business…bad customer service today goes viral.”
Edited by Stefania Viscusi