This article was included in the September 27th, 2016 issue of the LACRM Newsletter.
We have all heard this at least once in our lives: “Expect the best, but prepare for the worst.” It’s one of the more common adages that gets thrown around whether you are starting a business, or just cooking a meal for the first time. This is because it makes sense to always be ready for anything. With small businesses, you can go from zero to sixty in a heartbeat, and not being prepared for a big surge in business usually ends up costing you more than it should. Sarah Bergman, a travel agent at Magical Miles Travel, was accustomed to the size of her usual customer base. She was comfortable dealing with over a hundred customers at once and had a system that worked for her. But when business suddenly boomed, she knew she had to start doing things differently, or risk falling behind:
“One of the races that we were booking for our clients completely sold out in about 20 minutes, and our phones started ringing off the hook. We got tons of emails all for this one race and my list of contacts jumped from about 100 to 1500 in a matter of days. I became completely overwhelmed because I realized that I didn’t have a way to keep everything in order.
So I started using the CRM to keep myself organized, and have set it up in a way that lets me keep track of my customers regardless of whether I have a hundred or even thousands of them!”
-Sarah Bergman, Travel Agent at Magical Miles Travel/Foerster Travel Inc.
How can a CRM help?
For most businesses, having a surge of customers is a good sign, so having a CRM with you in preparation will help make sure that you don’t end up leaving money on the table. One aspect of this is having a CRM that is set up and ready to take on any challenge, but you also want to be sure that the system is simple enough to use that you can easily take advantage of every feature that you need in the event of a boom in business. An Excel spreadsheet may work for a smaller customer base, but once you start hitting three or four digits, having a dedicated system that can keep track of every little thing you do with your customers will help take the burden off your back!
Tip to try: The best way to be sure that you (and your CRM) are ready for anything is to test this out. Set up a drill and think about how you or your team will delegate and prioritize your customers, tasks, and prospects in the event of a business boom. Is what you are doing now going to work when you are juggling a hundred email threads at once? Do you have a simple and straightforward way to save and track notes after every call? By being prepared for the best possible outcome, you can hit the ground running every time without having to worry about whether or not you are missing out on anything. Click here for a tutorial on how you can set up a drill on your CRM account.
We hope this gives you some ideas on how you can prep your CRM for any scenario, and if you have any questions about this (or anything else!) just contact us!