Am I the only one able to access my
What forms of payment do you accept? Can
I mail in payment?
What happens if my payment is declined
in a particular month?
Any chance of offering a different
subscription period or payment plan?
I'd rather make a one-time payment
instead of having to pay monthly or quarterly. Possible?
I've read where you regularly upgrade
The Customer Factor. Any extra fees for this?
Why is The Customer Factor web-based
Is The Customer Factor complicated to
Why don't you offer a free trial to see if
we like the software first before paying any money?
You mention that I can backup my data from
within the software, but I'm concerned about my data being on your server. Can you tell me what
steps you've taken to protect my data? I need to know that my data is fully protected.
What happens if you sell The
Customer Factor or go out of business?
What happens if you get hit by a car?
Am I the only one able to access my Account?
In a word, Yes. When signing up for an account, you choose a
username and password. The username is then forwarded to a secure administration page.
The username is needed for tracking the membership as a
whole. Your password on the other hand is
immediately encoded and scrambled upon signup and can be changed
at anytime only by you. If you forget what it is, you’ll need to go to the
Login screen to retrieve it. The Customer Factor will send it to you
What forms of payment do you accept? Can I mail in a
check each month?
We accept Master card, Visa, Discover, and American
express. Sorry we don’t accept payments by mail at this time.
The reason is because it’s necessary for you to create your
username/password online for security purposes. But not
only does accepting checks/money orders by mail make the signup
process less secure, it also creates more paperwork, and our time is
better spent on creating more and more features for our members, not
on handling extra paperwork. As a side note, you are also able to pay by Echeck directly from your bank account.
During the signup process, you'll be provided the various payment
options that you can choose from.
What happens if my payment is declined in a particular
We understand that payment
situations occur like address changes, a credit card
expires, credit card limits are reached, etc. etc. So if we get notice of a declined credit card after a
payment attempt, there is no disruption of service.
We simply send out a couple of "reminder" emails letting
you know about the decline that occurred and we ask you to submit
updated payment information. This can be done securely from within
The Customer Factor or you can email/call us with your
updated payment information.
Any chance of offering a different
subscription period or payment plan?
Currently the only two subscription periods we offer are monthly
and quarterly. The monthly subscription option is $34.95 and a
quarterly subscription is $94.36 (save 10% with this option). We may
introduce a semiannual or yearly payment plan at some point in the
future, but it's not in the works right now. Update: If you
prefer to pay semiannually or annually, please call our office after
you've been with us for 30 days and we'll switch the recurring
period for you.
I'd rather make a
one-time payment instead of having to pay monthly or quarterly. Possible?
No. There are many reasons why as I'm about to explain. First of
all, the value of The Customer Factor is such where if we did
offer the software for a one-time payment, it would fall within the
$800 to $1000 range. This isn't some basic piece of software that we
created just fooling around one day. It's a serious tool with a
serious investment attached combined with hundreds of hours in
development time. The idea for The Customer Factor was formed
in the summer of 2003 and the initial version was released in
November 2004. This'll give you some idea as to how extensive it was
to put together and create. Anyway...you probably don't have $800 to
$1000 sitting around. If you do, great. But most service business
not. So we've priced it in such a way where absolutely anyone
can gain access to the one tool they must have in their business.
And second, if we
charged a one time payment for The Customer Factor, we wouldn't be
able to back it up with 7 day a week support and we wouldn't be able
to upgrade the software as often as we do.
You need to understand that this transaction has to be a
win-win. There are too many people out there looking for "cheap"
without really thinking through the repercussions of owning "cheap".
For example...I recently received an email from someone wanting to
join The Customer Factor. And he was explaining why he was unhappy
with his current software. I've blanked out the software name so as
not to embarrass them, but here's the email that was sent to me:
I have been very disappointed with the lack of flexibility
with <software name>. Many shortcomings! When I sent their support a
list of things that need modified or changed to make <software name>
a more user friendly and comprehensive program, I think they were
offended by that. Every so often they add something or modify
something and it is never what I consider, a substantial
In <software name>, I have tried to tell them they need a customer
data base. Where you can assign different task to the same Customer.
The way it is now, every time you want to do a new task, you have to
set that customer up again, totally separate. It's like they don't
get it. It's hard for me to believe that the designers are running
or working closely with someone running a window cleaning service.
When the software name was mentioned in the email, I'm thinking
to myself "obviously they can't make regular upgrades or provide
support". The last time I checked, they charge a one time payment of $85.
How many upgrades and support can they provide for a
one-time payment of $85? So the old saying of "you get what you pay for" applies here. We
on the other hand charge a
reasonable price that allows us to provide support that is second to
none. Most times if you call you'll be talking directly to the
developer of The Customer Factor. How many software companies
do you know of where 1) you are even given a phone number, and 2)
you're able to call and speak to the developer (not a sales rep or a
low level tech support person)?
And finally...by offering The Customer Factor as a
subscription based software product, this allows us to continuously add more value
into the software.
And remember we don't come
to you later on and ask you for more money in order to get this
feature or that feature. What'll happen is the next time you
login to The Customer Factor, you'll see the new feature and
you can start using it right away. In the long run, we're saving you
the necessity of having to buy upgraded versions of a software
specific new features that a software developer wants to sell you. (ie:
Buy Quickbooks and you'll quickly realize what I mean. The sales
pitches never stop.)
I've read where you
regularly upgrade The Customer Factor. Any extra fees for
No! The biggest cash cow for a software company is when they
introduce an "upgrade" or new feature for their software and then
send out a notice to their users that it's available for a price.
One software program we know of comes up with new
stuff regularly which is good, but there is always a price tag associated with
each upgrade. So they'll sell you a basic program at the beginning,
but if you want more, it'll cost you. Do you prefer a program where you know what your
investment is (and you can lock it in) and all upgrades and improvements are included? Or do
you prefer a program where the developers are always coming to you
with their hand out looking for more money? Option 1 would be my
pick. Oh by the way...The Customer Factor is in option 1. :o)
Our pricing structure is easy on the budget with no
Here's some recent news to really bring this "additional fees"
point home. A member of The Customer Factor sent us the
question and answer below that was posted in a forum. Check
Question: You have to pay a $250
fee just to be able to change the margins on an invoice or the
dimensions or your company logo. Hence my invoices all print
incorrectly and my company logo looks distorted, but I refuse
to sink any more money into this program.
Yes, a Crystal
Reports License is needed to customize reports. The $250 will
let you have the ability to create custom reports or Tweak the
reports already in the program.
A $250 fee just so you can have the ability to customize invoices?
That's nutty. It should be included just like it is with The
Why is The Customer Factor web-based software?
Excellent question. And we get asked this a lot. Here are some
advantages to web-based software vs software that you install on
Easy Access - You can access The Customer Factor
from anywhere. Internet access is all you need. So you're not tied
down to one computer. This is an important benefit. A member
recently told me that he needed some business data in The
Customer Factor but was too far from home. He stopped into his
local library, logged in, and got the info. he needed. So
again...you can access your data 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
from any computer (or mobile device like an iphone, a blackberry,
etc.) in the world that has an internet connection.
Safety - If you had your data on your computer, it's not
necessarily safe unless you specifically take measures to back it up
regularly. Most people don't do regular backups. We received a call
from a member not too long ago who called us in a panic. His entire
hard drive crashed. He lost everything. He also thought he lost all
his business data in The Customer Factor. We reassured him
that his data is safe and secure.
Updates - We are regularly updating and improving The
Customer Factor. The program is never standing still. So do you
want to receive update notices all the time where you're regularly
having to download new software onto your computer? Perhaps if you
only had to do it once a year, that's ok. But we are making regular
changes/improvements every couple of weeks! So with our software being
web-based, we are able to make the changes directly on our server which
means that the next time you login, you'll benefit from them. No downloading and
nothing special for you to do! As a quick side note, I actually read
a comment in a forum recently where the guy thought we had to shut
down in order to do uploads/updates. Absolutely not! Our updates and
upgrades are done "behind the scenes" with no inconvenience to you!
Is The Customer Factor complicated to use?
The Customer Factor is the easiest software product you'll
ever use and we're not just saying that because we created it.
Yes...there is a slight learning curve as there is with any software
product, but the vast majority of the functionality and features
within the software are self explanatory. No technical jargon or
fancy wording is used. This just complicates everything and leads to
frustration and confusion. Our programming team was instructed to keep it simple where any user,
regardless of computer or internet knowledge, can use and benefit
from The Customer Factor in their business. How simple? One
of our members has his 8 year old daughter logging in and inserting
data into his account.
If you do need assistance, you can click on any number of
question mark images ()
that'll pop up small information boxes which will providing you
additional notes on many of the features. Plus we provide in-depth
video tutorials for your viewing pleasure. And of course you can contact
our support staff 7
days a week for questions, situations, phone teaching, or any
extra hand holding that you may need.
you offer a free trial to see if I like the software first before
paying any money?
Two reasons. The first is that we're not interested in tire kickers
who want to waste our time by asking us for a free account when they
really won't do anything with it during the trial period. We've got better things
to do (like creating more and more features and working with
our members) than spend time creating a bunch of free accounts for
folks who won't do anything with 'em. And the 2nd reason why we don't
offer a free trial period is because nobody places any value on
"free". What this means is that there wouldn't be any urgency to put
The Customer Factor to use in your business. Since it's free,
what's the point, right?
So when you make a payment upfront, it lets us know that you're serious about giving
The Customer Factor a serious run through. And since it's not
"free" it literally forces you to use it and apply it in your
business. The key is to get you to use the software right away.
This is the only way you'll see the magic of what The Customer
Factor is all about. It doesn't do any good sitting on the
sidelines collecting cyberdust, and that's what the tire kickers and
freebie seekers will do. They'll have plans to "get to it someday",
and in the meantime their trial period expires and what have they
really gained? Nothing.
Now as mentioned on the main web page, we do offer a 30 day risk
free trial for your peace of mind. It doesn't matter what the reason is.
If you don't feel the software will fit your business or if there
are features you need for your business that are not in The
Customer Factor, etc. etc, then let us know within the first 30
days, and we'll refund your payment immediately. And of course you can always
cancel anytime. But at least by requiring payment upfront, we know you'll
more than likely put it to use right away and more importantly...see
You mention that I can
backup my data from within the software, but I'm concerned about my data being on your server. Can you
tell me what steps you've taken to protect my data? I need to know that my data
is fully protected.
Your data is obviously the most important part of your business. We
understand that wholeheartedly. Lost Data = No Business. So
prior to launching The Customer Factor back in November 2004,
I hired a security consultant to provide the know-how and knowledge
we needed to protect the servers from the bad guys. So everyone of his
recommendations were implemented. This included how to handle
backups and how to protect files on the server. The end result is
that we've had zero issues with
lost data. Now does this mean that it can't happen? No. No security
measures are 100% foolproof. There are some pretty smart hackers out
But here are some things to consider. We currently take automatic backups
of the data on our software servers each and every night. And as
mentioned back on the main web page, you can easily backup your own
data to your computer, a CD, or any place else that you want to. So
let's assume that a bad guy comes along and totally brings down
The Customer Factor. Know how easy it is to bring The
Customer Factor back? All we have to do is upload all the files
to the server and restore the data from our more recent backup. If
you want, you can even "restore" your backed up file that you saved
back into The Customer Factor. This ensures that your
account contains data that is the most recent. This is why we
recommend doing a backup each time you're in your account adding or
making changes (adding a customer, scheduling an appt., creating an
A final note. The above paragraph might actually
scare some people who read it. After all, we talk about "bad guys"
and "hackers". Hey they're out there, so we may as well talk about 'em.
But we'd like to put this in real world perspective. How many
hackers do you know of that are interested in data that a service
business might have?
Do you really think they care about your
business and your customers? The news you hear about
in the papers on occasion about stolen data and hackers are all
about the bad guys breaking into sites and stealing credit card
numbers and social security numbers. None of this type of
information is stored within The Customer Factor. All credit
card/bank transactions are processed by our third party merchant
processor, Authorize.net. And we have nothing to do
with social security numbers. We store nothing on the server that
anyone even wants. So the bottom line...no one has any interest in
compromising your data. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your data is
worthless to anyone but you. :o)
What happens if you
sell The Customer Factor or go out of business?
I am never going to sell The Customer Factor. I can
say that with absolute certainty. They say that everyone has their
price. Not me. I have poured my heart and soul into creating this
software along with investing a whole lot of money. There's no way I
can walk away from it. Plus I enjoy working with our members too
And as far as going out of business, there will always be a need for
a comprehensive software product like The Customer Factor.
Since our software was first released, we've built it to 700+
members with more coming on board every day. Keep in mind that we're
not your every day run of the mill software product. Our focus has
been and always will be service businesses. So we're not competing,
and have no desire to compete, against the likes of software
products like Quickbooks, Peachtree, etc. We've built a software
product that is focused and fills a huge need that most
software products (like the ones I just mentioned) don't provide.
Too many software products try to be all things to all businesses.
We've taken the opposite approach and devote our time and energy to
service businesses. Bottom line: We're not going anywhere!
What happens if you
get hit by a car?
Whew...this is depressing. :o) But I do have continuation plans
in place. So if something happens to me, The Customer Factor
will continue on far into the future. The Customer Factor
isn't about "me". It's about a group of dedicated people who stand
behind The Customer Factor ready and willing to do what is
necessary in order to continue providing you the best software
solution for your business. As a side note, we can
ask these "what if" questions all day long. There comes a time
though when you have to trust your gut and go for it. Either
continue on with the software program you're using or come on in and be a
part of the most exciting software product that you've ever seen. The choice is yours.