October 10, 2012

An in-depth case study interview with Damien Viero


I recently had the opportunity to speak with Damien Viero, one of our users from Australia, who owns a web design firm called Above&Beyond. His insights about our product were so great that I couldn't help but share them with you!

Contactually super-user Damien Viero

Brian: Who are you, and what do you do?

Damien: My name is Damien Viero and I'm the director of Above&Beyond Web Design, an award winning web design agency based on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. We have over twelve years of experience building custom designed websites and specialize in shopping cart design, big commerce, Wordpress websites, web hosting and domain names.

Brian: How did you manage your contacts and follow-ups before you started using Contactually? What were your biggest pain points?

Damien: When our company was smaller, we were simply putting in reminders via task managers. I think we were using Remember the Milk at some point; however, that quickly became cumbersome.

We then tried using Boomerang for Gmail to bounce back an email to our inbox after a set amount of time. This proved to be effective; however, when sales picked up and the number of leads increased, our inboxes were flooded with old emails and it became a mess.

Next, we migrated to a full blown CRM and although that was great at storing loads of information, the follow-up function lacked simplicity and ease of use. A great amount of time was spent entering in all of the data and creating the follow-ups, which was quite frustrating for our team. Once we discovered Contactually, we stopped using any other programs altogether.

Brian: What kinds of goals has Contactually helped you achieve, and how has it done so?

Damien: Contactually has greatly increased my confidence in our sales and follow-up process. I know that leads will not fall through the cracks and this has obviously allowed us to acquire more clients.

In addition to gaining new clients, Contactually has assisted in building stronger relationships with our existing clients. I have created a bucket for "Current Projects" to remind my team to continually communicate with current clients. Often times, we are waiting on images or content from the client and now we have a reminder system to ensure our project timeline is consistent. My clients have noticed that our productivity has increased and projects are now completed at a faster rate due to the ability to keep in touch with all our pending and current customers.

Brian: Which features do you like the best?

Damien: For our business size, a full CRM is often bloated and we don't require all the bells and whistles attached to such a system. Contactually integrates with our Google Apps-based emails so all we need to do is place someone in a bucket when we email them and we then get a reminder to follow up a few days later. The simplicity of it all is what made us move away from our old CRM and use Contactually completely. It integrates well with our business process and like any successful piece of software, it just works!

I login to the Dashboard at least once a day and love how I can see an overview of my follow-up progress. The way Contactually has set it out with a goal centric layout is fabulous. It has a fun 'game-like' feel to it and encourages our team to keep communicating with clients to reach the end goal. When I have a moment of spare time, I play the Bucket Game, which has been a great way to make the boring process of sorting old contacts quite fun.

I also like being able to create buckets not about sales or jobs but just for general contacts like family, friends, co-workers and contractors. Splitting my contacts into these categories lets me focus on a set group and export a group into a mailing list. Organization is imperative in any business and the layout and features that Contactually provides has greatly improved our ability to organize contacts.

Brian: Have there been any big "ah ha" moments or revelations that came as a result of using Contactually?

Damien: With other contact management systems, it was more likely that either potential clients or current clients could be lost or 'forgotten'. However, I now feel confident that this will not happen.

Contactually is not only simple but a great time-saving system. I no longer have to manually enter all the contact details by hand. I have even said, "So this is what it feels like to have some spare time!"

Brian: Do you have any specific examples of new sources of business that you've gained as a result of using Contactually?

Damien: When I first set Contactually up, I didn't have any contacts bucketed, so I had the opportunity to sort through all of my old contacts with a fine-tooth comb. As I was bucketing them, I realized there were some old clients that had fallen through the cracks and needed to be contacted. It had been over four months since we had last spoken to some clients and Contactually put me back in touch with them. After contacting those clients, we gave them their job quotes again and acquired three new websites, which wouldn't have happened without Contactually!

After categorizing our contacts and assessing the project histories, we sent out a newsletter to all of our current clients, which generated even more sales through website updates.