It Keeps Getting Sweeter: SugarCRM Wins Again in 2017 Business Choice Awards

By Sarah Friedlander Garcia • June 29th, 2017
Audiences: Administrators, Developers, End Users

This content originally appeared on PC Magazine and was authored by Matthew D. Sarrel.

Successful business people understand that companies live or die by the relationships built with customers. This month's Business Choice Awards evaluates the best customer relationship management (CRM) services because so many businesses rely on CRM to organize and manage customer interactions.

However, you use CRM services—keeping track of customer contact info, logging and reporting on purchases and support interactions, or even notifying customers of special events—choosing them will help ensure that your business is working to keep your customers happy.

For almost three decades, PCMag has been augmenting its hands-on, labs-based product reviews with our Readers' Choice Awards, in which PCMag readers rate the products and services they use the most. The Business Choice Awards extend Readers' Choice by garnering feedback about the hardware, software, and services our readers deploy, administer, maintain, and use in a business environment.

You probably know the drill: our survey asked respondents to rate their overall satisfaction, reliability, and tech support experience with the CRM service they use, plus the likelihood they would recommend it to others.

If you select, deploy, or administer the products in our Business Choice Awards, or if you advise or manage people in these roles, you know how critical it is to choose the right products. The results of the PCMag Business Choice Awards survey are invaluable when doing so.

Customer Relationship Management

Customers appreciate businesses that go above and beyond to create a helpful and pleasant customer experience. Great customer experiences don't happen by magic or by prayer, they happen on purpose when a business plans and executes an intentional series of interactions with the explicit goal of providing great customer service. CRM services help because they provide a single interface that combines sales, marketing, customer service, and customer support. More and more CRM packages include automation to alleviate some of the burden.

In this year's results for Business Choice Awards for CRM, we had 236 companies (a massive increase from last year's 30) nominated. But only six received enough votes to be considered for top honors. Not surprisingly, these are the same finalists readers have nominated for the past two years. Also not surprising: once again, SugarCRM $40.00 at SugarCRM wins the award for best CRM service with top scores in every single category except one.

This year's winner for best CRM service is SugarCRM, which blew away the competition for the third year in a row with outstanding scores.

SugarCRM earned a sweet 8.7 in overall satisfaction (up from last year's 7.6), a 9.0 in reliability (up from last year's 7.8), and an 8.8 in likelihood to recommend (up from last year's 7.9). Unfortunately, 56 percent of survey respondents reported requiring tech support—Sugar's only bad score—although fortunately customers rated this tech support the highest with an 8.6.

Let's dig deeper into the critical question "How likely are you to recommend your CRM solution to a colleague" and the accompanying NetPromoter Score. Typically, these scores are fairly low when it comes to CRM. In the past, we've felt this was because CRM services are complex and CRM implementations typically fight an uphill battle in order to shift the company's focus towards improving customer service.

This makes SugarCRM's likelihood to recommend of 8.8 and NPS of 64 percent (up from last year's 33 percent) noteworthy. In a field where products are generally disliked, SugarCRM improves every year and is now actually software our respondents enjoy using. SugarCRM solution dominated over the field with the closest competitors being ACT! with a 7.1 and Microsoft Dynamics with a 7.0 (both of which also increased their overall scores), trailing all the way down to SAP with a 6.5.

SugarCRM's 64 percent NPS almost doubles last year's 33 percent, while ACT!'s 0 percent is an improvement over the previous year's -11 percent as is Microsoft Dynamics NPS of -3 percent (-18 percent last year). Declines in NPS were recorded by Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP. Overall, SAP users are a pretty unhappy bunch.

WINNER: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

SugarCRM is definitely doing something right at its Cupertino headquarters. The web-based customer relationship management tool it provides saw score increases in all areas since last year, with only the stumbling block of over half its users needing tech support. But Sugar customers even thought the tech support was aces. For reliability, help, and collegial recommendations, no one in CRM does better than Sugar.


View Business Choice Awards 2016: CRM Review

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Sarah Friedlander Garcia
Director of Marketing at UpCurve Cloud