Managing customer contact with Highrise

Good customer service goes a long way to creating a loyal following. In my case, I’ll sometimes repeat purchase from a company that gave me good service even if it’s more expensive than the competition. If a company can show me they care enough to look after me, I’ll happily drop a little extra cash by going back to them.

Business owners with more than a few contacts need an effective way to keep track of them, so that they can deliver outstanding service. Who’s been in touch lately? What did they say? When did we last speak to that supplier? Heck, even details like what interests a contact has and what their family is up to can enhance your relationship. I know I have needed a way to keep track of contacts for blogging (PR reps, for example) for a while, and more recently for business.

So let me tell you briefly about Highrise – a Customer Relationship Management product from 37Signals. Highrise allows you to create contacts, assign them to companies, track “deals” (prospective work, like quotes) and “cases” (actual work being undertaken, like building a new website). Tasks can be attached to any of these categories, reminding you to follow up on something or that a deadline is looming. That’s all very good and, if that were all Highrise did I think it would be pretty handy. Where it really comes good for me (and I think could come good for you) is the e-mail dropbox.

The e-mail dropbox is one of those features you don’t realise you need until you’ve seen it in action. Basically, when a contact e-mails you, you can forward their mail to your Highrise dropbox. Highrise will then attach that e-mail to the person’s record, or create a new contact if they don’t exist already. When you e-mail your contact back, just BCC the dropbox and your e-mail will also be attached to the record.

So, over time, Highrise will not only let you see who you are dealing with, but what you said to them and they to you. Handy, eh?

Even better, if you’re working in a team, Highrise allows you to keep your colleagues up to date, so nobody ends up phoning a client who’s already had a phone call that morning.

In short, Highrise is a great tool for business and blogging. It’s helped me keep track of my contacts and proved invaluable when I want to remind myself of a previous conversation. Highrise has a free plan that will let you get a feel for whether it can work for you, and paid plans which give the ability to store files and have many more contacts start at $24 per month.

Check it out and see what you think. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not a Highrise affiliate… I just think it’s that good.

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