Batchbook Review (or Why I <3 Batchbook)

UPDATE: I no longer use Batchbook, because the software changed significantly after this writing. It’s still great software just not right for me any longer.

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Lately I’ve been working on streamlining my workflow to be more efficient. As with anything, I find that the busier I get, the harder it is to keep track of things – and that just causes unnecessary stress. Customer management is one of those things – it’s critical, but I find myself wasting a lot of time searching through notes and email messages to find bits of conversation that I need for a project. Paper and highlighters work to a point, but I’d also like to conserve paper a bit more. I also need a way to track potential clients, set reminders to contact people, etc.

Then I stumbled on Batchbook

First I tried Highrise by 37Signals – and though it worked ok, I just couldn’t get in the groove with it. Batchbook has similar features to Highrise, but it’s less expensive and seemed more robust. So I signed up for the free trial to give it a shot. Support is terrific – there are lots of tutorial videos on the website, and an active forum – so you can get feedback and tips from other members. There is also a live webinar held every two weeks, where you can see the basics in action and ask questions. Another great feature is Customer Onboarding – which allows you 2-4 hours of one-on-one phone training (for paid accounts).

After I watched the videos, attended a webinar and worked with the interface a bit, I decided to grab an onboarding session to gain a little more clarity.

I booked my session with Stephanie, and I can’t put into words how awesome she is! We talked about my business, what I needed to track, and the process I go through when starting to work with a new client. Stephanie logged in remotely to my Batchbook account so she was able to see what I had already set up and make suggestions on how to improve. She explained tags and supertags (which are a little complicated, but really amazing once you figure it out), and helped me create new ones. I was feeling really good about Batchbook at this point.

Then the real “wow-this-company-rocks” moment came

About a week later, in the mail (yes, the real, physical, reach-out-and-touch-it mail) I received a handwritten personalized note from Stephanie – with stickers. 🙂

How often do you see that?

It’s those types of special touches that win a customer over for life. I’ve dealt with lots of other companies who look awesome on the surface but don’t take the time to follow through when you need help. Batchblue really gets it. They consistently show how much they care about their customers. They WANT you to succeed.

Since I signed up, Batchbook has added integration with Mailchimp (which I also love), so not only can you import your list from Mailchimp to Batchbook, you can now select contacts and export them to a list in Mailchimp. I’m going to use this feature to send announcements to my clients.

Batchbook also integrates with a number of other services – I use Freshbooks and from the Batchbook dashboard I can see my Freshbooks invoices and recent activity. There are more integrations – you can see them all here.

Batchbook also integrates with social media services like Facebook and Twitter – you can select a contact and ask Batchbook to search for their social media accounts. Once that’s set, you can follow, post, retweet, etc., right from your dashboard. There’s an iphone app, too.

Of course, nothing is perfect, but this is close.

There are a few little things that I think are missing, like email forwarding automatically adding an email message to a deal, or being able to view which communications have already been attached to a deal (and Stephanie noted those requests so she could submit them to the development team). But overall, it’s really pretty amazing what the Batchblue team has done. It’s a rock solid tool.

And of course keeping good records still requires work and commitment on your part – there is no tool out there that will do everything for you. I still struggle with CRM, but I’m getting there. It’s just a matter of creating the habit to use these tools every day, consistently. If you’re looking for a dynamic CRM that integrates social media and other services that you’re using, with awesome customer support to match, go check out Batchbook at http://batchblue.com.

  • Stickers! Sweet 🙂

    On your recommendation, I will check it out.

    It’s great to learn about companies that still care enough to add the personal touch.

    Thanks for this review Lisa.

  • Thanks for such a great review Lisa. I had heard of Batchbooks before but never took the time to look at it. Now, I will. It seem like something that could help me stay on task… And boy do I need that.

  • Lisa,

    I started using BatchBook back in January and I am very happy with it, even if I haven’t dealt with their support so far.

    Geat review!

    • Thanks, Eugen. Glad you found it helpful. The folks at Batchblue liked it too. 🙂

  • We’ve been using Highrise for a couple of years but getting staff to get excited about using is really hard. Plus to build pipeline views etc.. we need ‘tracks’ as well and the cost of both per month is way too high… so I’ll try batch

    • Hi Brian – I’m not familiar with Tracks. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one software platform that did everything? Good luck with Batchbook!

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