Mervis Diamond Importers is the leading diamond distributor in the nation’s capital. With a company history spanning over 100 years, their focus has always been and continues to be on delivering the best product in the context of a superior customer experience. Over the years, they’ve also strived to stay up with changes in technology and its impact on how customer service is delivered at their various locations.
FROM COMPLEXITY TO SIMPLICITY
Prior to Sugar, Mervis had client and prospect information spread out among multiple databases, including Lotus Notes, none of which synchronized with the others. This resulted in inefficiency among staff members who would have referred to multiple applications for what they needed.
PRIORITY ACHIEVED: ATTENTION TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
Like most companies in similar situations, Mervis was having to use secondary systems just to manage the complexity of the first. They knew it was time to improve the entire thing. Sugar’s ability to consolidate so many functions— not just sales data but customer service records, email tracking, forecasting, invoicing, and the like—really appealed to Jonathan. “I knew that with better, cleaner data, my sales team could close more deals.”
It was an easy decision to simply remove the barriers to growth, and a bad data system was the biggest one. For example, before Sugar, a client could come in and a salesperson could take diligent notes, but then there was no centralized process to create or track that opportunity. The contact details would be entered into a Lotus database, but conversation notes would end up as scraps of paper on salespeople’s desks. Remembering to follow up six weeks later was unlikely and the paper scraps would be long forgotten as they got buried in the pile.
Now, they use Sugar’s email alerts for everything, both to the salespeople and their managers. According to Jonathan, “Christian Wettre and his team at Sugar have been instrumental in changing our business. My grandfather started our company in 1935 and I’m told he would write everything he needed to remember on the back of a matchbox. These days, businesses are non-smoking and we have web-based technologies to replace two-inch note taking. If we can preserve my grandfather’s attention to customer service with today’s technological tools, we should be OK!”
SEEING THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
Today, Jonathan and the Mervis team use Sugar to track customers over time. This has improved their visibility into trends and made forecasting easier. It has also helped them nurture better relationships with clients by enabling the sales team to be more proactive in anticipating customer needs. As Mervis continues to reap the benefits of streamlined data, they are expanding their horizons. “We’re always looking to improve our system,” Jonathan says. He takes comfort in the greater ease with which Sugar and his partnership with Sugar has made such improvements accessible. In fact, Jonathan attributes their progress as much to his partnership with Sugar as to SugarCRM itself. “The company has been great at helping identify possibilities and overcoming the obstacles along the way,” says Jonathan. Chris Wettre of SugarCRM adds, “this is an example of what we do best for our customers. It’s more than just helping them see the forest for the trees—which is important. We also provide the guidance needed to get through that forest.”