15 months ago, John Paul, the largest concierge service provider in France, decided to expand into the U.K. With this expansion, Jean Paul brought in George Evans to serve as managing director of John Paul U.K.
Prior to joining John Paul, Evans had worked for a large $20M dollar company and had extensive experience with Salesforce CRM. When he came aboard John Paul, the first thing he noticed was that they had no CRM solution in place.
“We are a smaller team in the U.K and it was really important that we be organized and get off on the right foot. I’ve seen companies without CRM trip over each other when dealing customers and I wanted to be sure to avoid this.”
At this point, Evans had to make the choice to either implement Salesforce which he was familiar with although not entire satisfied, or try something new. Having recently implemented Zoho Projects for project management, Evans decided to “gamble” and give Zoho CRM a try.
Established in Paris in 2005, John Paul provides both personal and corporate concierge services, around the clock and around the globe. John Paul focuses on an understanding of luxury and attention to detail with a willingness to innovate to apply their expertise to a fast-paced lifestyle. This includes services such as gaining access to exclusive venues, or attending otherwise sold-out events.
With over 120 employees, John Paul aims to deliver a lifestyle catered to its clients by informing them of upcoming events and working to provide unprecedented access.
The Challenge: Implementing an Unfamiliar CRM into a Company “From Scratch”
The first challenge was the task of learning a new CRM solution. Although Evans had prior CRM experience, he still had reservations about switching to a different solution because he was so used to Salesforce.
Secondly, Evans had a large database of contacts that he had previously collected prior to joining John Paul, as well as an additional database of unorganized contacts from within John Paul itself which he needed to merge and import into Zoho CRM. Evans was dreading having to tackle the daunting task of importing and merging these databases.
Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions
Evans had two primary selection criteria for a CRM solution when he began his search:
Simple Interface – Although Evans was very familiar with CRM, he wanted an interface that was simple, intuitive, and easy to teach.
Integration with MailChimp – As an active MailChimp email campaigns user, Evans needed a CRM that could seamlessly connect with MailChimp and share contacts.
Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM
Evans knew before officially joining John Paul what his first order of business would be.
“When I came over to John Paul, I knew that implementing a CRM solution would be one of the first things I do because I can’t imagine running a business without one.”
Evans initially implemented Zoho Projects for project management when he joined John Paul. Soon thereafter, he discovered that Zoho also offers a CRM solution. He decided to give it a try since it was free to start and because he was hoping to find a more straightforward CRM solution than Salesforce.
“Immediately I was struck by how familiar everything looked. It wasn’t confusing at all and was very straightforward.”
After “test driving” Zoho CRM, Evans decided to go ahead and import his 3000+ contacts and subscribe to Zoho CRM.
“What really interested me was how easy the user interface was. It was very similar to Salesforce only easier for me to immediately start using and a fraction of the cost. The API to MailChimp was also a big selling point for me because I’m a very active mail chimp user and being able to easily sync contacts between Z-CRM and MailChimp was a feature I really valued.”
Life After Implementation
Immediately after implementing Zoho CRM, Evans noticed a change for the better.
“Things like scraps of paper notes everywhere, and multiple spreadsheets started disappearing as we organized everything into CRM.”
Evans is most enthusiastic however about the features that he wasn’t expecting and did not necessarily prioritize when searching for a CRM solution.
“Once I discovered the ability to add custom fields, I added a ‘next action’ field which has been very important to me. The ability to customize just makes tracking so much easier and has become the most valuable feature to me.”
Evans has also discovered and found value in the social media integration.
“We have also started using the social linking features to Linkedin which has also been very valuable to us recently. It has actually become my favorite Zoho CRM feature!”
What Would You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?
“I’ve really become a huge Zoho advocate having used a few of your products now, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s a luxury I can’t live without! It’s easy to use, and really molds around whatever business you have!”
To learn more about John Paul International Concierge, CLICK HERE