What is a CRM System for Trades Businesses?

January 3, 2024 | Read: 7 minutes

In this post, we’re answering the question: “what is a customer relationship management system?”.

We’ll also explain what it means to use a CRM system if you manage a trades businesses like yours…

Are you adopting a CRM to help you manage your business? Or perhaps you’re upgrading your current solution?

Either way, join us to explore the essential functions of a customer relationship management system! We’ll showcase six features that every maintenance, service, and installation business should have.

Discover why a customer relationship management system is essential for your business!

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What is a Customer Relationship Management System?

A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a software solution that allows you to track customer data.

A CRM is a necessary tool for any business that collects and uses a lot of data. With this data, you can boost efficiency, work quickly, and take customers on excellent journeys.

CRM software is all about making life easy for your staff. They can input data to use and help them deliver a great experience of your services.

Great functions of a CRM system include:

  • Speeding up booking jobs
  • Paying invoices online
  • Easily collecting feedback,
  • Boosting customer satisfaction.

A high-quality customer relationship management system will make everything—from job management to sales—more efficient and rewarding across your entire company.

What are the Benefits of a Customer Relationship Management System?

Let’s review three key benefits of using a CRM, particularly one that comes with a fantastic customer database tool.

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

  1. Offer a better customer experience by improving customer journeys:

With the right information always at hand, your entire business will be better prepared to serve your customer’s needs. Calls, emails, interacting in person: it’s all helped by your CRM.

  1. Generate more revenue and boost cashflow:

Offering a better customer service experience will often lead to more business. A good CRM will help you identify opportunities for revenue growth and data analysis can highlight areas to focus on improving.

  1. Help employees to get organised and be less stressed:

A CRM will ensure all your customer data is in one place, properly ordered, and easily accessible. Staff won’t need to flit from one system to another.

These days it’s customer experience that’s proving to be the main differentiator between you and your competitors. After all, you provide the same services, so you’ll need to win a customer over in other ways. You’re not alone in this, either:

“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, here are the essential CRM system functions and features we think service, maintenance, and installation businesses should look out for:

1. Manage everyone’s data in one place with a CRM

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 of private customers and larger companies, as well as with tenants, landlords, property managers, etc.

That’s a lot of data to manage.

What you need is a comprehensive CRM capable of handling a variety of complex customer relationships.

When selecting your CRM, make sure it’s capable of managing all sorts of different technical terms and meanings. With a comprehensive customer database, you can be confident you’re tracking, monitoring, and using your data well.

Customer database software web and mobile are great features of a customer relationship management system

This way, no matter what industry you’re in, you can be certain your solution is capable of accurately managing your workload.

2. Use a CRM system to access work history and upcoming appointments

The most important thing about your relationship with a customer is the work that you do for them. That means a CRM won’t be of much use to you unless your team can see track jobs—historical and planned—for a customer.

customer relationship management system with customer account records

When a client phones in about a job, you’ll have everything you need in the CRM.

3. Easily track every communication with a CRM

This means everyone can see exactly what emails or text messages have been sent, giving your team total transparency.

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

customer relationship management system with past communications

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

4. Share technical information and assets using your CRM

If a CRM has been designed for field service businesses, it should be able to record technical property information accurately.

This includes data such as the location of fuse boxes, water mains, fire alarms and more.

With all the information they need readily available to them both before, during, and after an appointment, your team can work much more efficiently in carrying out all sorts of necessary tasks, whether they’re at the property or not.

Asset management on mobile customer relationship management system

The same goes for assets. If you install or service assets for a customer, you should expect to have all of these linked to their records within the CRM.

5. Attach files and monitor documents with a CRM

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

After all, attached files, photos, and video evidence are incredibly important resources for installation, maintenance, and service businesses to keep hold of. Putting them to use can be important not just for the jobs themselves, but for educating and teaching colleagues, too.

Commusoft customer database search example

They’ll also help your staff more easily review work far faster than having them read lengthy descriptions (or vague ones).

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.

6. Access data on the go with a CRM

Our last function – and it’s a big one! CRMs for field service businesses need to be accessible when you’re on the road.

So, if you’re at a customer’s property or travelling, you can still access all those other details that I’ve just mentioned.

Commusoft customer relationship management system mobile apps

Ideally, this will come in the form of a standalone field service engineer app available on a smartphone, PC, or other portable device. This app should sync with the CRM via the cloud so that no matter where you are, your customer data is always available.

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 maintenance, installation, and service businesses. That’s because they weren’t designed specifically with field service businesses in mind…

But Commusoft is!

If you want to improve admin, impress customers, and boost profits, our Job Management Software can help!

Alternatively, explore our free downloadable guide to CRM Management. With this checklist, you can find out more about the essential features of a CRM and much, much more!

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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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