Contributors from members of the Copper team
At one point in time, Creative Brands thought they would need to use Google Sheets as a CRM system for the rest of their lives.
As the industry leaders in gifting and printing in Africa, their team of branding specialists was in desperate need for something that would change the way they managed their sales process.
“Two to three years ago, we had no way to control the inquiries that were coming from our website,” recalls Creative Brands’ Managing Director, Nicholas Markovitz.
After a lead landed on the page of product they wanted, they would convert via form or live chats, which would send them straight to their inbox. From there, product inquiries would go into spreadsheets and become a new task assigned to account managers who would provide a quote to the prospect.
“We used tags and followers to manage all of these opportunities. Copying and pasting were a daily, mindless reality,” says Nic. “When I think back to it now, it sounds like working the dark ages.”
Eventually, Creative Brands scaled to the point of no return. “If we took our eyes off the inbox for 10-15 minutes, we’d be flooded with 90+ new emails. For about eight months, we were playing email catch-up, turning on out of office replies to make people feel heard,” says Nic. “There was no way to manage the communications that were coming in.”
The journey to find the right CRM...
“We went through a journey with Salesforce,” recalls Nic. “We were courted by a sales manager in Dublin who went on a trip to South Africa to meet with local businesses and sign people up. We were about to sign the contract, but it was such scary number to commit to. There was no guarantee that anything we needed to get integrated would actually work. So at the last minute, we decided it wasn’t for us.”
This all changed when Creative Brands found Copper. “We stumbled upon it in a really random way,” Nic remembers. “One of our web developers asked us if we had seen this new CRM system — and as soon as we started the trial, we fell in love with how intuitive Copper was.”
He adds, “The process, from the get-go, got the whole company really excited. Everyone lives in Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Google Drive — it’s just the language of the company. Anything that markets itself as being deeply integrated with Google is an instant selling point.”
Two of Copper's perks: effortless onboarding and easy integrations.
As they began their onboarding process, Creative Brands started off by migrating all of their online accounting system and spreadsheet data into Copper. (Here's how easy it is.)
“Once our data was imported and we went live, our team started effortlessly using the product,” says Nic.
Creative Brands took Copper to the next level with integrations. “Nothing is impossible or too much trouble — if it doesn't exist, we just build it. We used Zapier to connect all the forms on the website to Copper.”
He adds, “Zapier plays a huge role in automating things. With Salesforce, just getting one system to talk to another was so expensive. Zapier integrations are something we can hook up ourselves, which is quite empowering.”
How can a CRM make a team better at customer support?
Before Copper, Creative Brands’ vision of customer service was very textbook. They avoided complaints and were often on autopilot until moving onto the next order.
Nic says, “It was impossible to expect an inbound sales team to be in touch with all clients with such a vast database. Now, our communication with clients is rich and dynamic.”
“What we’ve created with Copper and Zapier is transparency that has resonated throughout our entire company,” says Nic. “When a new account manager starts at Creative Brands, they look at the ecosystem of how an opportunity arrives, to when it is converted. Along with structure, we’re able to offer our team consistency and predictability.”
Offices across the country? No problem.
With teams across South Africa, Creative Brands depends on Copper to keep everyone on the same page.
“We have customer service reps in Johannesburg, but our headquarters are outside of Cape Town. With Copper, this team can be completely remote, because they all have access to the same customer data.”
Simplicity is key
At the end of the day, Copper’s simple UX and design are huge reasons why it was adopted so easily. Nic remarks, “It’s very native. It’s not like another foreign thing that you need to come to terms with. Our employees no longer suffer from ‘tabalitis’ [having 20-30 tabs open] because they’re working with something that makes sense.”
As Creative Brands continues to scale their business, we’re excited to be helping their team every step of the way!