Taking an industry specific view of how CRM can help your business. In this article we focus on the theme of Plumbers. How is CRM useful in helping you run your plumbing business?
The most fundamental aspect for any local plumber is keeping a valid, accurate and relevant overview of all contacts and the jobs they complete for each contact. So, assuming you have zero experience with using a CRM solution, what is the best way to prepare and then import your contacts so that they can be used effectively to drive new business?
Grouping your business contacts
Whatever business you are in, the number of people that know about your business is directly related to the income you will create from that available market. You may get new customers finding you through search or the yellow pages or traditional advertising, but for most businesses they live off and receive their primary income from repeat clients. Clients are simply contacts that have become customers. How does this work? Well, let’s say you run a plumbing business based in Milton Keynes. In Milton Keynes there are 3,000 companies that have their own premises and 50,000 residential homes. On the assumption that you are a local plumber in Milton Keynes then your total available market is 53,000 properties multiplied by the total number of potential customers in each property. Even if we only assume 1 adult per business property and 2 adults for each residential property you are looking at a potential audience of over 100,000 contacts. Try managing that list over a 20 year career on an excel spreadsheet! Impossible!
Most small businesses have no idea how many contacts they have or what value they would be. But typically, you might have a spreadsheet with around 1,000 people on it. Most of the people on that sheet have not heard from you in years and most would not know your name or the name of your business from “Adam”.
Fear not. That is absolutely typical.
But picture this…
Take your list, clean it up, remove duplicates and add a new column called “Groups”. You then put in the cell next to each contact what type of contact they are, for example, buyer, supplier, contractor, or contact. Then subscribe to Trivaeo Crossroads CRM, click on Contacts and “Import” your whole client base into our CRM system in a few seconds. Not only are the contacts imported exactly from your spreadsheet but the groups they belong to are created and are instantly available for you to use intelligently. This video shows how easy that is:
Groups are the way that you can separate people with different requirements. For instance, are they a business or a private householder? Did you sell them a specific boiler make or model? Or maybe you want to group people by the area they are based in? Add as many groups as you need to accurately represent the role of each contact to your business. Then, once you are using the system you can actually begin refining the value of the groups, say, for example, to have a group called customers and a group called newsletter. Some customers want to receive your monthly newsletter and others don't. Just add the contacts who do want it to the group 'newsletter' so they are in both groups at once. Hey presto, sending out mails to the group with Campaigns is super easy. Just pick the targets of the emailing to go to members of the groups 'customers' and 'newsletter' and it does the rest for you!
Now consider how your business would change if you did these simple things:
1. Text or email each contact asking them if they could provide you with the names and contact details of any other businesses or homeowners that might be able to benefit from your service. You might want to offer some sort of “offer” that they might like t enjoy themselves, just for responding.
2. Create an easy to use form / text response for each one, so that responding is dead easy for them.
3. Prepare to double your potential customer base in days.
4. Begin preparing updates and newsletters so you canvas for new business amongst your existing clients, offering coupons, discounts or special-offers to get them to take you up on your latest gadget that provides boiling water from the tap!
5. Use Groups to quickly scan through your database at a glance. This often triggers ideas and thoughts for follow up or induces a conversation with a contact that then creates business, especially if you haven't engaged with that group in a while
The service that does all of this for you is called Trivaeo Crossroads CRM. It has been built for Services companies like yours. It costs less per year than you would get in profit from a single call out.