Valuable to the core

Before Signature Home Improvements in Chichester chose the Business Pilot CRM software to manage its customer relationships, it used spreadsheets and shared folders. Director, Rakeem Porter-Young, explains the upgrade.

We are a relatively new business, only going since 2019, and we quickly grew out of those early methods of running a business, such as spreadsheets. They were very elaborate spreadsheets, but spreadsheets nonetheless.

Actually, we had an early opportunity to move over to Business Pilot, because we already knew business development manager, Matthew Gaskin, who came to see us in the early days. But we were initially put off by the cost.

And then we got busier and busier, to the point where we were being over-run by spreadsheets and scraps of paper.

So, we did our research and looked into what CRM systems are on the market. We very quickly realised that what was available was either too heavily sales focused, or too operationally focused. When we saw the first demo of Business Pilot, we were sold pretty much immediately because it was clear that it had been designed by people from within the industry.

Yes, there is a cost, but it is a monthly subscription, and it is being updated all the time. I can’t imagine life without it now – the value it brings to our business is really high. To put it into context, I would have to employ at least one person to manage the tasks that Business Pilot handles for us. So, from that point of view, it is great value for money.

Business Pilot has lots of features, but my favourite is what it offers at its core, which is the contact/lead/contract system. This allows anyone with access to Business Pilot to pick up any of the phones, take a call from a customer, and within a few taps be up to speed on what’s going on with that customer.

Before Business Pilot, if someone rang up, and the person answering didn’t have the information at their fingertips, then we’d have to call them back. This just slows the whole process down.

What could be a very simple question could easily turn into several internal emails and calls, before calling the customer back. Now, that phone call is answered and dealt with immediately.

So, that’s not a feature, it is just what the software does, and it saves us money, and it maintains our good reputation.

Another overlooked feature-that’s-not-really-a-feature is the support during set up. I imagine some companies are going to be put off from investing in a CRM system because they are worried about the impact of installation, and how it may upset the apple cart. Well, with Business Pilot, the set up and initial training went very smoothly. Everything was done when they said it was going to be done.

There was no downtime, not much of a learning curve, and we had someone on the end of the line if we had any questions. The training was so good from Rebecca Taylor that I’ve since been training new recruits how to use the software.

If anyone is currently on the fence, I would say ‘make the jump’, and this is coming from someone who didn’t immediately invest in Business Pilot when I had the chance.

We’re over the moon with Business Pilot, and I can’t imagine how we would survive without it. In fact, I don’t think we could have grown to the size we are, in this space of time, with the old systems we were using. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

You can watch a discussion between Rakeem Porter-Young and Business Pilot’s MD Elton Boocock here: