Updated: Jul 20
CRM - Customer Relationship Management is not complicated. We all understand the importance of putting the customer first when it comes to small businesses. Plumbers, carpenters, roofers, painters, HVAC professionals focus on their customers by giving them excellent quality services. We at Kiwi know you, as a Small Business owner, strive to keep your customers highly satisfied. "Good work means more work.", as they say. We at Kiwi also believe that! In this post, we will tell you how you can keep your customers happy not only by doing a great paint or roofing job, but also doing more than your competitors. Surprising your clients! Yes, going above and beyond! But how? By managing your customer relations really, really, well – and using that improved relationship as a marketing strategy. That's where a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool will help you. But how to choose the right CRM software? And how to set it up? Kiwi has got you covered! Real application of a CRM for a small business. Imagine one of your prospective customers called you in January to get a quote for a paint project they were thinking to do in May. Chances are, that if you don't have a CRM (even a Free CRM), you will not remember to call this customer in April to see if they will go ahead or not with their project. Also, let's say you want to offer a promotion to all summer projects booked ahead, you will have a hard time trying to remember all the possible customers you had a conversation. Sure, you can take a note in your "Excel spreadsheet" or even a notebook, but you are losing customers and not even knowing. Guaranteed. A CRM software can be considered as a super-powered version of the address book on your phone. And much more! The software makes it possible to record and manage every bit of contact information about your suppliers, customers, partners, and every other person who your team works with. Also, CRM software can leverage the power of the above information to create marketing campaigns. That might sound hard, but the point is precisely that: the CRM tool makes it easy for you! You will have more business leads. For instance, you can use the CRM tool to plan and execute a "Bring a friend" referral campaign. And those work great for small businesses! The more you use it the more it will bring results. You can even setup an automatic email to be sent to your prospective customers every change of season with tips and advice, so that they will always remember you. Thus, by keeping your business' customer relations managed well, you will have more customers (and more loyal and returning customers!). They would then become what we call evangelists and advocates. These types of customers spread the good news: how fantastic was the service or product your company provided them. And that's because - besides you being a great electrician - they loved the customized experience they got from your company. They feel you know them, they know you are a neighbour that cares about them. For instance, you can email (or call, or text) your customers on their birthdays. You can mention something that they told you, and they wouldn't expect you to remember. Something important and beloved to them, like the hockey team they root for. How surprised, amazed, and happy they would be! Free CRM for small business If you use a paid contact management and email marketing tool, such Active Campaign (this is what we use at Kiwi by the way), you will have more flexibility and power to engage your customers. But even if you are bootstrapping it all, there is no excuse to not start using with a CRM. HubSpot is a free CRM and email marketing tool. These software get relevant information to your contacts automatically, such as their company name, contact info, role, company sales history, location, website, Facebook, Instagram, etc. HubSpot logs all your business activities and produces a detailed report to give you valuable insights about your business. If well implemented it will show if a customer has visited you page several times, so that you can call them to offer a promotion. Kiwi has deep expertise in Active Campaign. We can help you get the most from the software. So, is a CRM worth of a small business owner's time? We know you, as a small business owner, want to get more referrals, more business, better business, and returning business. CRM software might be a little bit scary to start using, and it seems to take more of the time you already don't have. But in fact, over time it will provide you with insights, ideas, and will free you to focus more on the leads that offer more potential of closing. So, yes, it should be a priority for your business. We see the results of it on our business and our clients businesses.