It is a “customer relationship management” or CRM system. Essentially, a central place to capture, track and manage your customers’ information. This includes basics such as contact info (name, address, phone and email), their “household members” – including their furry family members – and the activities around them. For a pet care business, this can be an important place where you can see all of your customers in one snapshot, notice trends in your customer base, understand customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
Using a CRM can help you streamline processes, better understand and serve your customers, and ultimately grow your business.
Having this sort of information at your fingertips can be a powerful tool! Here are a few more reasons why you may want to consider a CRM:
CRM software was invented to target leads and to optimize business-customer relationships, and that’s still the main feature. Your CRM can store records about your contacts, their previous services and interactions, that can inform your marketing efforts and sales pitches. Instead of digging through old files, you’ll save time and impress your customers with how well you remember their furry friends’ needs and pain points.
It’s one thing to have lots of data about your customers and prospective customers, but you need to know how to use that data. CRM software typically has built-in analytics to help you put the data in context, tie it to actionable items and easily understand and report on metrics. You can gather and evaluate information about engagement, including responses to email campaigns and communications, such as click-through rates and whether your “special offers” are getting attention. Segmenting your client base by demographics, including number and/or types of pet for targeted messages or services. This analysis and reporting can help inform your marketing and business strategy for the upcoming months and year.
There are never enough hands to get things done. A good CRM system can help you automate tasks that technology is good at and save your team’s time for what only people can do – directly interact with customers and work with their pets. Software and systems scale, while human beings don’t. For example, the CRM could automatically send out a reminder to schedule the monthly or seasonal grooming based on the date of their last appointment if there isn’t one already on the books, without you or one of your team having to touch it. It feels personal to your customer because it is based on their engagement with you. Keeping track of all the various forms of prospect and customer data makes automation a significant advantage of a CRM. Automation can help ensure important tasks don’t slip through the cracks.
Aside from improving communication with your customers, a CRM can make it easier for your employees to share information and communicate with each other too. This can include: sending each other notes or alerts and tagging each other on projects. You can also document and see what other employees have communicated with customers, which helps maintain a unified and consistent voice for your pet care business.
There are many types of CRM software and no “one-size-fits-all”. Within the genre, there are many options with an array of functions and a wide range of price points. You also want to take into account the complexity of setting up, using and maintaining your system. A local business-to-consumer company has different CRM needs than a multi-billion dollar international manufacturer who sells widgets to other manufacturers. Some of the things you’ll want to consider as you evaluate options:
You’ll want to look at those CRMs that support what you need to accomplish and are scaled/priced appropriately for you.
There are software products that are specifically designed for the Pet Care industry. In general, software designed with one type of business in mind can be quick to implement but may or may not be flexible enough to meet the rest of your needs. Some things to consider include:
A CRM can be a game changer for managing a business of any size, especially one that you want to grow. Do your “due diligence” to find something that will work best for you:
With a CRM that fits your business, you can help streamline some of your business tasks that are best done by technology. And you and your team can focus on spending your time where it is needed most.