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Thread: Customer/Client Database

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Customer/Client Database

    Hey Guys,

    I need some help and it would be great if someone could point me in the right direction.

    This is what I am looking for... I work for a home building company, and when potential buyers visit any of our models they fill out a quick registration form. I needed the sales agents to login in (it can be one general account, but it would be better if individuals had their own accounts) be able to add these potential buyers (name, email, how did u find us, notes) to a database, they also would have to be able to search to find if this potential buyer has visited us before, when, etc...

    I have searched for ready to use scripts online, but I am just not sure how to search for this.

    The only "request" is that this is a secure database, as we obviously don't want any of the information to end up somewhere else.

    Thank you guys - any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    You probably aren't going to find anything that does this unless you are willing to pay for a site management engine.

    Well you are obviously storing the form data somewhere. . Do your sales reps need to do anything to the data such as approve it or something along those lines? If they do not, just have the form write the data to the database where you want to store this data. Then just use a server side language to build a management tool on top of it. It's very easy stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thank you for your reply.

    Agents will only need to input and submit the information, also they should be able to edit it - and then be able to search names....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    Trying to figure out your situation before I make a recommendation.

    How is the information getting to your sales reps? Do you have a webpage out there that when a customer submits information it's getting emailed to your reps?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    No, these potential buyers visit our model homes and they fill out by hand a form with simple short questions (such as name, how they found us, and notes where agents can leave notes related to that customer's experience, what they thought, whether they will come back, etc..) the agents show them around and then at the end of the day, they would input all the information into the database, which is searchable and editable...

    I am willing to pay someone to make this... I'd like to do it myself, but I'm a graphics designer not a programmer.. hehehe here at work, they dont know the difference.

    Thank you - your help is truly appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    Does this data need to be accessible in multiple locations, or is it acceptable that your sales staff can only access the data in your main office.

    I'm trying to figure out if you need a web application for this or if a simple internally shared access database will do the trick. On a scale of 1 to 10 how simple should this tool be to use?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    well, since we have several home models around town, it would be ideal if this database is accessible from anywhere.... because for instance, they should be able to find out on the spot if that person has visited any of our models before, if other sales agents have spoken with them, etc..

    We currently have an access database that's maintained by someone in the office, but its not functional as agents need to have access to it on the spot.

    How simple should this tool be?
    Well...login, a simple form where information can be entered and perhaps the tables displaying the information below the form and a search field to search by name, or by location visited or even by agent who entered information. Also an edit button news to each row so agents can add/remove information already entered.

    Is that too difficult?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    Clearly you are going to want a web application to do this.

    If you do not have a website you will most likely want to find a hosting company to host it for you. Hosting companies will provide you with a database, but you might want to consider leveraging your current access database so that you can have the data in your main office to generate reports should you need to. If you choose to use access make sure that whoever is building this knows how to secure an access database as it would need to be made accessible via the web.

    You will want to get into contact with a consultant to make this happen. If you copy and paste this conversation that you have had with me they should be able to take you the rest of the way. Depending on how pretty you want the tool your sales reps use this should take no longer than 20 - 30 hours of billed time. I would highly recommend that you use PHP or .NET as your server side programming language.

    Make the consultant show you some demos of managers that he has built. This is a very easy coding exercise. What you are asking for is something that I can bust out code for in a day if that.

    I hope this helps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Can I have your email? Can you give me a quote? I will run it by my boss...

    We have a website, so as far as providing a database, we have that already.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    Unfortunately, I'm not going to have time to help as I am in the middle of migrating some core systems for the company that I work for.

    I would highly recommend that you find a consultant that is local. Someone that you can meet face to face and build a relationship with in case you need any work done in the future.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Ok - I honestly was thinking this would be something I could do... but I guess not.

    Do you recommend that website where people bid on jobs like this?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Dayton, OH
    To be completely honest if you know basic programming concepts you can probably do this, but it would take you some time.

    Not really sure on a website where people bid on jobs.

    When I was doing consulting I went through K-force. You will probably want to deal with one of the big consulting agencies as they will pre-screen people to make sure you don't get any idiots working for you. You tend to get a higher caliber of person this way.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Awesome - Thank you very much!

    If anyone else has anythng to add - let me know

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The Garden State
    look at CRM tools. one that pops up right away is salesforce.com, sugarcrm is an open source tool.
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