Facebook is such a fantastic tool for keeping in touch with old friends, new friends, and for sure colleagues that are across the globe. When a topic pops up where I feel I can contribute, I usually hop right in. And last week, a thread popped up in my Facebook newsfeed from a travel agent community and I hopped right in.
“Good morning everyone. I was wondering of you guys know of a computer application where I can keep all of my client’s information so I don’t have to ask the same questions every time they book. I was keeping them in an Excel spreadsheet, but my list is growing and I feel I need another method.”
Well, I hopped right in and said that a CRM was what was needed and tossed out ClientBase as my top suggestion and ClientEase as a solid second choice. A few agents chimed in with tips on how to sort information in Excel, someone suggested Access and a variety of other solutions. Many dissed the idea of actually paying for a product (where did that concept originate anyway?) and just muscling through with Google Docs or something they already had.
What surprised me was that several colleagues in that thread tossed out a few names I had never heard.
- Vacation CRM
- Budget Your Trip
- Less Annoying CRM
Why had I never heard of these? I like to think I am tuned into the industry; but apparently I am not as tuned in as I think.
I have been a user and advocate for ClientBase since the late 90s—when it was owned by Third Party Solutions…way before TRAMS bought them and before Sabre bought TRAMS. The program has grown as technology has advanced. And to be honest, ClientBase has become like many Adobe products—too many features for the average user. I know that, like Adobe, they want to be able to appeal to the most complex user as well as to the most simple; but many of the features of both Adobe and ClientBase go unused on my computer.
So maybe there is a better solution out there? Maybe not. But that thread on Facebook opened my eyes. What CRM are you using? One of the ones mentioned above? A different one? Index cards? Leave a comment with the pros and cons. Maybe I will make a switch.