Editor's Note: Pedro Mar is director of Método DeRose Matosinhos Uni-Yoga school in Portugal. Método DeRose provides more than 65 students personalized exercise routines based on an intimate knowledge of each student's needs, as well as healthy eating choices, social activities and creative ways to improve all aspects of his or her life.

When Mar and his team were looking for software to help manage their three year-old business, they needed something as accomodating and personal as the services they provide. Already happy using the Google Apps suite, they turned to the Google Apps Marketplace, and found that they were able to design a solution that perfectly met their needs with BatchBook CRM, which not only met all of their needs for a CRM system, but easily integrated with Google tools and other Marketplace apps they were already using.

Here, Mar shares some insights into the business benefits he has seen since using the Google Apps Marketplace.

Diogo Toledo, Joana Santos and Pedro Mar from Método DeRose Matosinhos

I run an independent yoga school that is part of Uni-Yôga (www.uni-yoga.org), a worldwide network of approximately 150 schools. My business needed a solid customer relationship management (CRM) software program, mainly to keep track of former, current and potential students, but also to provide a good workflow. I was looking for a program that gave me the freedom to customize the data in a way that worked best for my business and suited its needs.

A friend and student of mine recommended searching the Google Apps Marketplace for a CRM software application. I tried several trial versions of some of the solutions offered there and eventually decided on BatchBook. After viewing the tutorial videos offered on the BatchBlue website, I knew I could customize the software to suit all our needs. After using BatchBook for more than two months, I can see the progress we've achieved.

Getting personal with our customers
All of our services are tailored to our clients' health profiles, so it very important that we have the most accurate information about each individual. Since creating our BatchBook account, we have customized the contact information to track things beyond name and address. These include everything we need to know about potential new students; things we learn during our time with our students, such as their birthdays, classes they've taken and experience levels; how often we are communicating with all of our contacts.

We sync BatchBook with our company Gmail app to keep every customer's information updated. We can also track our products and services--like books and workshops --as well as create lists that are important to our business. This all means we can provide better customer service, making our clientele happier and enjoy better, longer relationships with our students.

A workflow that bends to our needs
The to-do template in BatchBook is an amazing feature. Using the template we are able to enter a student’s information upon enrollment. From there we can easily create a scheduled list of tasks for each student to complete up to two years into the future. We use Google Apps to manage several calendars, and we can follow all of the BatchBook to dos right in Google Calendar. This is great for tracking students and their overall progress through our program as we help them achieve one level after another. All of our academic programs, marketing programs, and operational programs are also tracked in the to-do templates, so we are sure not to miss a thing.

Finding the right marketing balance
Our best and most cost effective marketing strategy is communicating, communicating, communicating. We track every e-mail, phone call, cell phone message, class, note, student referral and recommendation in BatchBook. By doing so, we are constantly connected with our network of people. We even use the Rapportive integration with BatchBook and Gmail to obtain social network information we need about a customer right within an e-mail message. It's genius.

We also take advantage of MailChimp's integration with Google Apps and BatchBook to allow different team members to send e-mail newsletters to different groups. Each of the different departments within the school can create their own lists from our list of contacts, and reach out with personalized details about upcoming events, special parties or birthday wishes.

Within one month of using BatchBook our number of students has grown by 10%. We are now managing more than 1,000 contacts in the software and with BatchBlue, we can turn more propects into engaged students. Once we create a file on a prospective student within BatchBlue, we never lose track of him or her. That is a huge value to us.

Previously, we simply had too many other things to worry about. With only four to five instructors at the school, we would easily lose track of a potential student or forget something like a birthday, which is unforgivable in our school's culture of appreciation, attention and trust.

Other programs we tried in the past did not support the rich interaction we have with our students or the workflow that helps us stay on top of the important details like BatchBook, Gmail and Google Calendars does. Using BatchBook, we can now closely monitor our relationship with each student and each lead.

Clearly, BatchBook has made a positive difference in how we run our business. Since using the program, we have improved the quality of our outreach to potential clients, and we have registered new students more easily. With the assistance of the customized to-do templates, integrated with our Google Calendars, we are reminded regularly when to send an email or reach out through another method of communication to a prospective student.

Our success using Google Apps and BatchBook has led me to encourage other schools within the network to do the same. By duplicating our system and taking advantage of our efforts, they can implement the practices into their own business and see firsthand the results we have experienced.

Posted by Chris Kelly, Google Apps Partners team