When I was 21 years old, I started working for a Honda dealership in Columbia, Missouri. The store, just purchased by a larger auto group, were implementing changes to move towards the new standard. My second day was spent participating in a meeting outlining new processes and procedures. Half way through, I walked to the front for my section on marketing and customer service. First question, ‘Tell me about your current process for new leads.’ One of the guys stood up and handed me a binder. This binder looked to have been in his possession for forty years. It was 5 inches thick, covered in coffee rings and had crumbled papers sticking out from all sides. I looked down at the contents that had just been placed in my hands. Confused, I asked, ‘What is this?’ I opened the contents and saw chicken scratch writing and more coffee rings. I thought I could make out a name and number, and then it dawned on me. This binder was their current practice for keeping up with potential customers.
I no longer work for that Honda dealership, but I can tell you during my time there we put a great process together. And to everyone’s surprise in that meeting, it did not involve any binders.
In the beginning stages of your business you have a small following. Let’s say you have 10 clients, that you can easily manage. Yet, once your business begins to grow you will experience a steady flow of new clients. Your 10 clients turns into 1,000 and then you can’t even remember your 1st client’s name. How are you supposed to keep up with 1,000 clients?! There comes a point when a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) is a must.
A CRM tool holds customer information and automates a follow up process for clients. It also keeps a record of the company-client interactions. With all this information in one place you are able to collect data points that will allow you to make changes to better your process. This means higher closing rates and more money in your pocket. More importantly, it saves you precious time!
I have used tons of CRM tools during my career in customer service and marketing. Currently, I work for Entrust Direct, a real estate title company. We offer closing services for homebuyers. We frequently market to realtors. Once we have a realtor use our services we want to keep them happy. So we make customer retention a priority.
Enter, HubSpot. They offer a great CRM tool and other sales and marketing resources.
We like Hubspot because:
*It’s easy to use
*It holds and organizes customer information and interactions
*It syncs with GMail and Google Calendar
*and.. Hubspot provides a ton of online resources and educational videos.
Once you get your Hubspot profile set up you can begin to add contacts. Click on Add Customer in the top right corner.
A new box will appear to the right asking for the customers basic information. Fill this out and click create customer.
Once your customer is added you can find them under Clients. You can also search by name in the search box at the top of the page.
By clicking on a customers name you will be able to access the customer profile. Here you will find all of the customers information as well as a record of your interactions.
It is important to have the customers email. Next time you are in your Gmail enable Hubspot and all of your email interaction with your new customer will be recorded in their customer profile!
Seriously, this is just a few things that Hubspot can do for you. You can visit their website for a more detailed list or their features and services. The best part about Hubspot CRM is it’s free!