“I used to spend an hour a day updating the CRM database at the end of the day, now it’s 15-30 minutes at most, and this gives me the ability to do what do best, which is be in front of customers – and having instant access to up-to-date information allows me to be my most effective.”
– Martijn Rijnders, Managing Director of Systony

IT firm improves customer communication by 20% and boosts productivity with BlackBerry solution and Maximizer Mobile CRM

Systony is an IT company in The Netherlands, specialising in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) deployment and customised software development for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Challenge
For the past five years Systony has been using Maximizer CRM, which is a proven and affordable customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small to medium-sized firms. While the company found Maximizer CRM ideal for office-based staff, it didn’t meet the needs of mobile users, who could only connect to the CRM system via a PC. As a result, CRM data wasn’t being captured in real time and users in the field couldn’t access CRM records. In late 2008, as a first step towards solving the problem, Systony deployed MaxMobile, an add-on application that lets a user access the Maximizer CRM system from a smartphone.

Initially, Systony rolled out MaxMobile on their existing smartphones, but with mixed results. “The devices were too slow: it would take up to a minute retrieve a customer record.” says Martijn Rijnders, Managing Director of Systony. The slow performance stymied adoption of MaxMobile among the smartphone users at Systony.

The Solution
Rijnders was quick to share his experience with Diego Lunardi, Maximizer Sales Manager for Continental Europe, who suggested moving to MaxMobile for BlackBerry smartphones. Lunardi gave Rijnders a short demonstration, which showed just how much faster MaxMobile ran on a BlackBerry® smartphone compared to their existing smartphones.

As a small company, Systony has a hosted email service and didn’t want to have to install new servers to use the BlackBerry smartphones for email or with MaxMobile. Lunardi explained that MaxMobile was available for BlackBerry smartphones using the BlackBerry® Internet Service. “Because Maximizer is very popular among SMEs, we made sure that MaxMobile runs on all BlackBerry solutions, including BlackBerry Enterprise Server, BlackBerry Professional Software and BlackBerry Internet Service. That way, it works with whatever email solution they have,” explains Vivek Thomas, Managing Director, Maximizer EMEA. On this basis, Systony rolled-out BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry Internet Service from Vodafone.

MaxMobile enables users to update notes, look up accounts and leads, access the latest customer service cases, and update their sales forecasts – all while they’re on the move – with real-time synchronisation to Maximizer CRM back in the office. In addition, MaxMobile is integrated with the BlackBerry smartphone’s address book and email, so calls and emails to client are logged automatically on the client records.

The Benefits
“Everybody really likes MaxMobile on BlackBerry smartphones because it’s so fast,” says Rijnders, describing the users’ reaction to the BlackBerry solution with MaxMobile. “It’s very easy to search the CRM database. The customer record, with the tasks, the notes, even sales opportunities, is on the screen in a second. You have everything at your fingertips.”

Rijnders prefers his BlackBerry smartphone to his laptop for CRM access. “I’m on the road much of the time, and it’s easier for me to use my BlackBerry to see the CRM database than it is to open my laptop.” During the day, as BlackBerry smartphone users make changes to customer records, the database is updated automatically every hour. Rijnders says that because of this real-time synchronisation, “my colleagues back in the office know who I called and what we talked about.”

Another advantage is responsiveness. “If a customer calls the head office when I’m in a meeting, one of my colleagues adds a task to Maximizer telling me to call the customer back. When I come out of the meeting, the task appears on my BlackBerry as an alert and I can call the customer back right away, which means I can provide them a better service,” says Rijnders.

From a business point of view, the BlackBerry solution with MaxMobile has increased the productivity and hence the business value of Maximizer CRM for Systony. Rijnders’ personal experience is indicative, “since I started using MaxMobile on my BlackBerry my total number of phone calls to customers has increased 20%.” Moreover, the number of calls logged by Rijnders has jumped by 60%. “My previous smartphone was so slow that I didn’t bother to log most calls. BlackBerry is so fast that all my calls are made through MaxMobile.” The same trend can be observed for email communications.

This increased productivity hasn’t come at the expense to his personal life. In fact, Rijnders says that because he’s more productive throughout the day he spends less time in the evenings and on weekends catching up on administrative tasks. “I used to spend an hour a day updating the CRM database at the end of the day, now it’s 15-30 minutes at most,” he estimates. In conclusion Rijnders says that the BlackBerry solution with MaxMobile “gives me the ability to do what I do best, which is be in front of customers – and having instant access to up-to-date information allows me to be my most effective.”