The Search for a Vendor Beyond Borders
Industry-specific makes all the difference. Ricardo Gil’s first project upon joining the Oficina De Visitantes Y Convenciones De Guadalajara, A.C. (OFVC) was to find the CVB a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Ricardo spoke with Kevin Bate, Simpleview’s senior director of business development at the DMAI Accreditation training event in León, Mexico in 2012.
“Here in Mexico, we don’t have a platform that covers all of the things the Simpleview CRM does,” said Ricardo, business intelligence and information technology director at the OFVC. “We have multiple platforms, but they're not specific to the industry and tourism in Mexico.” Ricardo felt they had two options: to try and create the system they were looking for themselves or find a system outside of Mexico. He felt Simpleview offered the platform they were looking for, and by 2015 the CVB and Simpleview teams began working together to implement the Simpleview CRM system.
The OFVC and Simpleview teams worked together to load the data, make certain customizations to the platform to accommodate the CVB’s specific daily processes and get past any language/translation challenges. The mutual objective was to find the best practices specific to the Guadalajara CVB and Latin American DMOs, then implement them.
Customizing Simpleview CRM and Tracking Impact
“As the IT guy of the CVB of Guadalajara, I believe if you see an opportunity where a tool can be implemented to be helpful on a daily basis, then you try to implement that product. That was the case with the CRM,” says Ricardo.
Ricardo notes it’s been an interesting learning process, one that’s still in progress. “I know it’s a full universe, the CRM,” he says. Onsite trainings have helped and, now, in addition to showing his colleagues the functions they need to know to do their daily work, Ricardo feels he’s been able to learn more about IT, other platforms and digital technologies, in order to know which customizations will work best for his team.
In working with Simpleview CRM Analyst James Werner, Ricardo is also gaining an understanding of the complexity of the development of the CRM and the breadth of what the platform can do. For instance, while James and his team focused on making sure the economic impact calculates correctly with the right taxes and formulas, Ricardo and his team focused on tracking in-kinds and expenses to win leads.
Maintaining Team-wide Transparency and Follow-up
Consistent information, efficiently organized and easily accessible. Ricardo and his team appreciate the consistency and timeliness the CRM system affords, especially when it comes to keeping track of and communicating with contacts. “At this point, it has been useful for us in the matter of internal communication,” says Ricardo.
“Before the CRM, it was up to the group to keep notes on a business trip or vacation. Or a client would call with one of us and one month later was speaking with another of us, so both needed to know the progress with the CVB. We now have the ability to get to know the process, who the manager is and how to follow up with that client in real time. Everyone knows what everyone is doing."
"Now, instead of everybody having their own data sheet for their clients, we have a main database with the information of all clients. So if I want a colleague’s info, I will find it in the CRM. I don’t have to wait.”