What is a CRM System for Trades Businesses?

January 3, 2024 | Read: 8 minutes

customer relationship management

Join us to explore the essential functions of a customer relationship management system.

We’ll showcase six features that every plumbing, electrical, gas & heating business should have to help them transform their customer service.

But what is a customer relationship management system?

If you’re asking that question, then fear not: we’re here to help.

If you’re eager to improve the way you manage your customers, then we’ve got answers for you.

Let’s explore why a customer relationship management system is essential for your field service business!

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What is a Customer Relationship Management System?

Simply put, a customer relationship management system (CRM) is a software solution that allows you to store, monitor, and track customer data.

A CRM is an absolutely essential tool for any business that works with customers.

That’s because a CRM is the best way to both collect and put customer data to use. With this data, you can complete admin tasks more efficiently, work faster, and take customers on excellent journeys.

A great CRM has the power to help your team easily:

  • Booking jobs
  • Send invoices
  • Write emails
  • Collect feedback
  • Boost customer satisfaction
  • and so much more…

From job management to sales, it’s all about making life easier and more efficient, so you can give customers a fantastic experience of your services.

What are the Benefits of a Customer Relationship Management System?

We’ve touched on the benefits above, but let’s give some more details. Here are three core benefits of using a CRM, particularly a fantastic customer database tool.

These benefits highlight how your staff can use data to deliver great experiences, every day:

  1. Offer a Superior Customer Experience

With a quality CRM, you can improve every customer journey.

Afterall, when your team have customer data in the palm of their hands, or easily accessible on a single view, you can work more efficiently. That means dealing with customer inquiries faster giving your teams the ability to serve your customer’s every need.

From call, to emails, to speaking in person: a great CRM will help elevate the experience you’ve traditionally been able to offer.

  1. Boost Revenue and Improve Cashflow:

By improving customer experiences, you’re making customers happy. Not only that, but by working smarter, not harder, you’re opening up your team to do more work, without added stress.

That means more money coming into your business, more work to keep your engineers busy, and more cash to invest in growth. A CRM with accounting integrations, like Commusoft with Sage, will also simplify admin. That means you don’t need to stress about double-data entry and can be confident that money is always going to flow to where it needs to go.

A quality CRM will also help you to keep track of your finances and, by inspecting your data, you can identify new opportunities for revenue growth, too.

  1. Organised Staff are Happier Staff:

With a customer relationship management system, you can be confident that your staff are all working in the same way. From how they record, find, and use data, it gives everyone a streamlined way of working, which will mean fewer administration errors and issues.

After all, the last thing you want is to deal with customer complaints that can be easily prevents. A CRM will ensure all your customer data is in one place, properly ordered, and easily accessible.

How a CRM Sets your apart:

These days it’s customer experience that’s proving to be the main differentiator between you and your competitors.

Even though you may provide the same types of service, customers will need reasons to pick you over the competition and a fantastic customer experience will often be the deciding factor:

“More than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on the basis of customer experience”


As such you need to focus on collecting and using data more effectively, as this is what will help you improve overall experiences.

Look out for a CRM that provides your team with a single customer view experience: it makes finding and using customer data a stress-free experience.

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6 Functions of a Customer Relationship Management System

Now you know what a customer relationship management system is and why they’re important, here are the essential CRM functions and features you should look out for:

1. Manage data in one place

No matter if they’re tenants, landlords, and estate managers, with a CRM, you can see them all. A CRM should record customers details like names, addresses, phone numbers, and more.

However, for many installation, maintenance, and service businesses, you’ll work with a mix clients. From private customers and tenants to larger commercial companies and businesses.

Either way, it means there’s a lot of data to manage.

When selecting your CRM, make sure it’s capable of managing that data. With a comprehensive customer database software, you can be confident you’re tracking, monitoring, and using your data well.

Customer database software

2. Access work history and live data, even if you’re offline

Whether it’s data you need right now, or information to use elsewhere, you’ll find it beneficial to have a CRM that lets you find and use data, even without an internet connection.

Your CRM won’t be much use to your team if they can’t access it offline, so instead, make sure that the system you use works in offline and syncs up in real time when you resume a mobile connection.

3. Track communication

This will mean that everyone can see exactly what emails or text messages have been sent, giving your team total transparency. No matter who’s working on a customer: whether it’s their 1st or 100th interaction with then, they can respond with confidence.

The best CRM solutions will even allow you to send communications straight from the customer record, too.

With more ways to transfer and view customer data, you can ensure people are always on the same page.

customer relationship management system with past communications

4. Store asset data

If a CRM has been designed for field service businesses, it should be able to record technical information accurately. This includes data such as the location of fuse boxes, water mains, fire alarms and a wide variety of installed assets. Planned maintenance software can help your entire team oversee customer assets.

With all that information to hand before, during, and after an appointment, your team can work much more efficiently, whether they’re at the property or not.

The same goes for assets. If you’re installing an asset or servicing it during an inspection, you should expect to see the necessary records (job details and certificates) within the CRM.

Asset management on mobile customer relationship management system

5. Attach files and monitor documents

This is a simple one, but not always available, so be wary.

After all, files, photos, and video evidence are incredibly important resources for an installation. It can provide team members with invaluable context, should they need to review a job, and gives you a chance to add a bit more visual flair to the administrative work being done.

Putting images to use is important not just for each job itself, but can even be beneficial when it comes to training new colleagues, too.

Whether it’s a photo from a property, a customer contract, or a user manual for an asset, you’ll want to have all of these pieces of data stored safely within the CRM.

Commusoft customer database search example

6. Access data on the go

We’ve touched on this already, but a CRM should be available wherever your team are. At home, on the road, in the office, or on site. That means it should be accessible in a variety of different forms, such as on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer.

Ideally, this will come in the form of a standalone field service engineer app as well as a web browser (rather than a system you need to install). With data stored in the cloud, it means you can connect wherever, whenever you are and access customer data without delay.

Commusoft customer relationship management system mobile apps

Download your Customer Relationship Management Checklist!

If you were wondering what a customer relationship management is, we hope we’ve made it clear for you!

As one final point: it’s important to know that there are a lot of CRM systems out there. However, not all of them are a good fit for plumbing, gas & heating, and electrical businesses. That’s because they weren’t designed specifically with field service businesses like yours in mind…

But Commusoft is!

If you want to improve admin, impress customers, and boost profits, our Job Management Software can help. To learn more, explore Jobs, below:

Explore all in one job management software with Commusoft

I'm eager to tell compelling stories and share great advice that helps field service businesses to build on their success.

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