Vine Blog: CRM
”Vine works so much better for us than our old system”
Flowrox is known to be the reliable industrial solutions provider for demanding process conditions. The 40 years of experience in flow control and elastomer technology are obvious benefits we can offer.
Flowrox started using Vine to manage their customer database and delivery information. Vine replaced the old system and works so much better for Flowrox’s needs. When business grew and became international, Flowrow needed a system, which works well globally. Vine works very well for Flowrox’s needs and is flexible system.
“For example when sales representative sees customers, he or she marks the meeting information and all the notes to Vine. We collect at same time customer feedback”.
The use of Vine is very broad at Flowrox. Vine is for example used to send newsletters, maintain customer database and collect all important information to the same place.
“The biggest benefit for us it that Vine collect all important information to the same place. Finding and analyzing imformation is easy when there is no need to look for an information from many different places. Vine’s customer service reacts fast for our questions and we always get an answer to our problems and questions. There are customer service oriented people working at Vine and they help us in many different things – sometimes even in thing which are not related to Vine at all.”
”If you want to be a winner, you need to use the best tools and systems. This is the reason for us to use Vine. That’s very simple.” – Mika Eskola, CEO, TPS.
TPS is one of the biggest sport associations in Finland. Vine solves many challenges of the TPS organization. Organization has 60 permanent employees, 120 seasonal employees and 650 partners. It has approximately 900 players, 100 supporters and 150 coaches. Sales and marketing do different operations and there is plenty of important information of the organization accrued over 20 years of time. One of the challenges of the organization was that there was a huge amount of tacit knowledge. The goal was to share all that tacit knowledge with all the employees and to make the whole organization more transparent.
TPS started using Vine with CRM system. The old customer database was rebuilt with Vine CRM and now all that tacit knowledge is shared with all the necessary people. All the important information is transparent, updated and can be found in Vine. TPS also uses Vine’s common calendars which can be synchronized with phones.
Mika Eskola, CEO of TPS, has already 10 year experience as a Vine user. He sees many new possibilities to use Vine at TPS. Vine will be used more extensively in the near future. “Once I used Vine’s competitors system and I got quickly back to using Vine. That tells a lot. Vine is simple, versatile and easy to use.” Eskola has seen Vine’s life cycle and believes that Vine brings competitive advantage for their organization.
TPS is very happy with Vine’s new address service created with Suomen Asiakastieto. Suomen Asiakastieto brings quality company and decision-maker data straight to Vine’s customers’ use. It’s the only service provider in Finland with a service, in which our customers can add company and decision-maker data straight to their CRM and marketing automation. Now TPS improves its customer information with Vine’s address service. Customer database is easy to create and maintain with updated information from Suomen Asiakastieto.
“Before, when we got new customers, we needed to fill in all needed information manually one customer by one. Now all this information comes automatically. This saves so much time and effort. It also helps finding new leads. We can find the name of the company, contact information, right persons etc.”
The main reason to start using Vine was the simplicity and versatility in use. One important reason was to create customer database, which is easy to use. TPS also wanted to improve sales department’s actions. Now all the actions of sales can be found in Vine. Vine creates a base for TPS to work efficiently.
In the near future TPS will also improve its marketing with Vine marketing automation. The goal is to improve communication and generate more leads. The objective is to start using Vine at TPS more broadly and the goals are high. “We are in this business to win it. And we only use systems and partners which help us to achieve this goal.”
Not sure what the collapse of Safe Harbor means? Read our previous blogpost.
What should I be worried about?
Complying with laws and the trust of your customers. The European Court of Justice has revoked the Safe Harbor –agreement, which enabled transferring personal data outside the European Union. Safe Harbor collapsed, because it hasn’t guaranteed real protection for personal data and, authorized by their legislation, the United States’ authorities get their hands on the data.
It is likely, that also the “emergency aid”, the model contract clauses, will fall down for the same reason: they don’t guarantee real protection for personal data. The personal data laws require organizations to ensure that the data is not transferred outside the EU without permission. The obligation of the law is binding and the organization cannot shift the responsibility to a third party or appeal to ignorance.
Also the trust of customers must be earned. Personal data laws are made for protecting the privacy of individuals. Simply complying with the law is not enough, the company must also be able to show customers that their information is exemplarily taken care of. Banks have known the value of trust already for long and take care of data security and their reputation accordingly. A few forerunners such as F-Secure are already creating new business by ensuring data security.
Am I already in trouble?
It’s possible that your organization breaks the personal data law, if you use international cloud services to process customer information and other personal data. For example Salesforce, Microsoft CRM Online and Zoho CRM services operate based on the repealed Safe Harbor –arrangement. Out of these three, at least Microsoft CRM is seeking temporary safety in model contract clauses. Also the email marketing and marketing automation solution providers such as MailChimp, Hubspot and Marketo have relied on the Safe Harbor –procedures. Very few cloud service providers can thoroughly disclose where personal data is stored and how data is transferred in different stages of the process (for example the repositories for backups and customer support logs).
What should I do?
Four steps, with which you can ensure that your organization meets the requirements of the personal data protection law in processing customer information:
1. List all services, where you process customer and personal data
Determine all services that are used in your organization for processing customer and personal data. Find out where the data physically ends up in from each of the services.
2. If you don’t know where data is transferred, ask your service provider for clarification. Ask your subcontractors for the same statement.
If the service provider does not openly disclose the location of their servers on their website, ask the supplier to make a clarification on the matter. You can send for example the following type of clarification:
The European Court of Justice has invalidated the Safe Harbor –agreement with the United States. We kindly ask you to inform, whether you have handed over information regarding our organization based on the Safe Harbor –agreement.
This clarification concerns also mirroring data, processing data logs, files sent to suppliers in problem situations, maintenance operations, emails and other information that you use in your own systems to provide the service.
Your statement should also cover your subcontractors that are related to the services provided to our organization.
Notice that your organization is responsible for compliance with the personal data laws, even if the personal data is processed by your subcontractor. Therefore, send the same clarification letter also to your subcontractors.
3. Correct your organizations operations to legal
Find alternative services in case your current service provider is unable to operate according to the personal data laws. Especially in cloud services the switch may be easier than you think. The safest and most sustainable solution is choosing a European service provider whose servers are located within the European Economic Area. This way you won’t have to worry about future decisions by the European Court for example relating to the model contract clauses.
4. Remember to tell your customers about good data security
When your personal data processing is in order, tell your customers about it, too. At least update your privacy policies up on your website. Undoubtedly your customers won’t be offended if you remind them once in a while that your organization takes data security seriously and that their information is safe with you.
Vineyard’s servers are located in Finland and the data saved in Vine will always and in all situations remain in Finland and thus within the European Union.
Read more about the data security of Vine CRM:
We found our old print ad from circa 2000. “Thoughts on your customers, current and prospective” –notebook demonstrates research on customer relationship management from fifteen years ago.
The thoughts contained in the notebook show that no matter how much technology advances, some things never change. Customers are still the prerequisite for any business, all customers should still not be treated in the same way and retaining current customers is still considerably cheaper than acquiring new customers.
However, something seems to have changed over the years; the understanding of the letters CRM. At the beginning of the century CRM was perceived as exactly what the letters refer to: customer relationship management. Unfortunately, its feels like the meaning of those three letters has dimmed with time and nowadays CRM almost without exception reminds people only of software, not of a way of thinking and working.
We want to share these old CRM wisdoms with you and recall the original meaning of CRM. So that all of us might once in a while remember to return back to basics and think about how we could serve our customers even better.
Nordic Waterproofing Oy relinquished Vine CRM in connection with ownership change in 2011. They, however, faced the fact that ERP is inadequate when it comes to account management and marketing. In the spring of 2015 they returned as Vine customers.
Nordic Waterproofing Oy, an expert in roofing and waterproofing, manufactures and markets Kerabit roofing products among others in Finland and abroad. Nordic Waterproofing Oy has a history of more than hundred year and the roots in Lemminkäinen Group, from where the company was taken over by a Danish private equity investor in 2011. During its time with Lemminkäinen, Nordic Waterproofing Oy used Vine CRM like the rest of the group. Along with the ownership change came the decision to transfer solely to ERP and to manage accounts in there.
Managing customer data in ERP problematic
However, the weaknesses in ERP’s suitability to customer relationship management soon came to light. After giving up on CRM they planned and followed sales and customer activities mainly by Outlook and sales reporting was handled by monthly reporting templates that sales people manually filled in. The Sales Director Jari Väisänen, says that the biggest problem was however the lack of up-to-date customer information. Management of customer data and target groups was not specifically successful in ERP and therefore the company had to resort to a substantial amount of Excel spreadsheets, for example, to send newsletters and organize the sending of invitations to customer events. Väisänen points out that "the problem arose when all customer contact, newsletter target groups and customer event invitation lists were scattered here and there in odd spreadsheets. Maintaining and updating of target groups was difficult and their up-to dateness was not guaranteed."
One place for customer relationships and marketing
The desire to handle all customer relationship management and marketing -related data in one, shared space, was the key factor in returning to Vine. Nordic Waterproofing Oy starts using Vine first in their domestic sales team of 8 people. Their intention is to comprehensively utilize Vine by centralizing customer management, sales planning and reporting as well as marketing in Vine. Sales Director Väisänen is particularly pleased with the possibility of sending newsletters from the same place where the customer data and the target groups are managed: "Vine provides us with everything in one place; we manage customer groups, target groups and mailing lists, send newsletters and also follow what we communicate to whom."
In the future, Nordic Waterproofing Oy will use ERP for management of order and supply processes, while the document and customer data management will be done exclusively in Vine. Väisänen speaks for the concentrating on two systems. "Vine and ERP support each other: we can manage and complete all the issues in these two systems."
Väisänen adds that the decision to return to Vine was easy since it was already familiar: "The main reason we chose Vine was that we had good experience on how the system works. Introduction is also easier because sales people already know the system. It is worth noting, that in just few years Vine has evolved and gone far ahead. There are lots of new features in the service nowadays. I am eager to see what we can do with Vine in the future!”.