On-line retailers understand that providing the resources to constantly handle customer calls would be cost prohibitive. They also understand that many people have a fear of the internet and once an order is placed they are anxious to know that the order has been received and is in the process of being filled—they want assurance that they have not just sent their money off into “never-never land!” Combining these truths has led to a result that all of us have encountered: you place your order and immediately a confirmation email arrives; the order is being processed and another email arrives; the order is being shipped (or back ordered) and yet another email arrives. These emails have the functional purpose of eliminating the need for the customer to keep calling to ask the status of the order and giving the purchaser a comfort level in knowing that they haven’t been forgotten.

What can your business learn from this? In today’s market every advantage has to be utilized. You must go the extra step in customer service in order to get the sale. So why not “LLBean” your business? The Fremont Group works with their clients to establish a system where emails are sent to your clients every time you “touch” the client’s folder. Working with our recommended CRM software, Highrise (see right panel of this page), we create client records of every activity that takes place on a client’s folder. Entries are made by sending emails to the client which are then recorded in the clients “Contact” record. For example: a landscape company meets with a potential client—email is sent to client thanking them for the meeting and summarizing the discussions. The email is then in the record. The Project Manager does some preliminary drawings—email is sent to client indicated that work has begun on the file and asking a few questions about loose ends. The meeting for the final take-off and pricing is scheduled internally—an email goes to the client telling them when this will take place and when they can expect to have the bid. Two bids are prepared giving the client a choice and are transmitted by email so they are also in the client record.

These emails keep the client completely in the loop. They separate you from your competitors. The more communication there is between you and the client, the more likely you are to win the contract. And providing multiple bids allows the client to choose between your two bids rather than between you and a competitor.

The implementation of Highrise also allows anyone who answers the phone when the client calls to have all of the latest information in front of them in a keystroke and allows that person to know exactly what has been said to the client at all times significantly increasing the quality of your customer relations.

“LLBean” your business through the use of Highrise to increase your sales and make your life easier. For more information about this sales system or about the use of Highrise as a Customer Relations Management System, contact The Fremont Group at 303 338 9300.

Your most valuable asset

In these slow recovering times increasing sales revenue is on the mind of every small business owner.  Unfortunately most small business owners have never had to focus upon sales and marketing.  Their sales plan consisted of little more than answering the phone.  No, when desperate, they try things that they have never done before—mailings, radio, tv, print advertising, and many other things that they have never had to do before.  Unfortunately they all seem to miss the utilization of their most valuable asset—their customer list.

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You can’t run your business like it’s 1999

In the 60’s Alan Toffler wrote a book called “Future Shock” which examined change and in particular the rate of change.  For hundreds of years change happened no faster than you can ride a horse.  Railroads increased that change and through the 20th century the rate of change continued to increase, however today the only thing that you can count on is change.  Your customers aren’t the same, your technology isn’t the same, your products are not the same—nothing is the same; everything constantly changes.  And the rate of this change continues to increase.  Neopreneurs—the really small business owners have been the worst in keeping up with this rate of change.  Some firms have embraced the change and have thrived; others are still running their businesses like it is 1999.

The Fremont Group has examined this issue at length and has identified the one action that small business owners can take that will have the greatest impact in the struggle against change.  So few neopreneurs have effective CRM systems and even fewer use these systems to manage communications within their company.  A CRM system is a customer relations management program.  Software that tracks all contacts with clients, assigns tasks throughout the company and virtually eliminates paper flow.  It provides the owner with the 24/7 ability to see the real time status of all customer accounts and work within the company.  After reviewing hundreds of software systems we are ready to recommend one—Highrise by 37 signals.  In the right sidebar of this blog there is an icon which you can click to get free information about this system.  We have implemented its use for numerous clients with rave reviews.

Click on the icon; take their free tour; and give us a call.  Don’t continue to run your business like it’s 1999.