Customer Experience Essentials: Why Your Micro or Side Hustle Business Needs A CRM System

Customer Experience Essentials Why Your Micro or Side Hustle Business Needs A CRM System - Photograph by Stephen Dawson | Kathy Ennis | LittlePiggy

FACT: We’re all far more likely to spend our money with, and keep on buying from, polite and friendly companies who:

  • respond quickly to our queries,
  • sell us products and services that do what they say they will, and
  • make us feel appreciated

After all, who wants to be treated like just another faceless, paying customer?

Customer Experience is Your Competitive Advantage

No matter how large or small your business, the customer experience is THE competitive advantage. It simply can’t be ignored, particularly in an age when there is more choice than ever before.

Please note here, customer experience is different from customer service. Customer experience is a journey of different touch points and interactions with a company, rather than a single example of customer service.

It Pays to Personalise

With so many options available to us, we savvy consumers can afford to shop around, comparing and contrasting different companies until we find the one that offers us everything we’re looking for.

So when it comes to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers to your micro or side hustle business, it pays to personalise.

If you treat your customers as the people they are; by understanding their needs, speaking to their values, and going the extra mile on occasion – such as sending a personalised birthday gift, or a specific offer based on their purchase history – you can start to create that amazing customer experience.

So, How Do You Make the Customer Experience Personal?

It’s all very well listing all the things that can help to make the customer experience more personal, but how do you do it in a micro or side hustle business time-frame? How do you remember details like your customers’ individual dates of birth?  How do you begin tracking their purchase history, or plot each stage of their customer journey?

Let alone store the useful kind of information that means you can send personalised offers?

You could take an advanced Excel course, or scribble notes down on different coloured scraps of paper, hoping you’ll get around to filing them properly one day. PLEASE DON’T!

Or …..

Invest in a CRM system – it could be the answer to your customer experience prayers!

What Is a CRM?

‘CRM’ stands for Customer Relationship Management, which usually refers to software or technology that specifically helps a business to manage interactions with existing and potential customers.

Investment in CRM systems has been growing fast.  In fact, it has been predicted that by 2021, CRM technology will be the single largest area of spending on business software.

It’s easy to see why.  An effective CRM system will streamline your business processes, leaving you free to concentrate on offering your customers exactly what they’re looking for.

What Does a CRM System Do?

You can use your CRM system to record contact information, including email, telephone number, and social media profiles. You can keep a record of your email exchanges (so you don’t have to keep loads of emails in your Inbox!) You can also store personal information, such as their product or service likes and dislikes, and how they prefer to be contacted.

Over time, your CRM system will create a rounded, personalised view of each and every customer, capturing every interaction with your business.  This will then allow you to communicate with your customers on a more individual level.

You will also be able to record customer feedback, so you can see at a glance which of your products, services, and approaches are the most effective over time.

The key to Micro and Side Hustle Business success is to create Systems, Processes and Automation - Kathy Ennis

CRMs on a Micro Business Budget

While you may be thinking that your business is too small to need a specific CRM system, bear in mind that at some point you will probably have to upgrade that Excel spreadsheet, before it gets out of hand.

Your business may be micro, but the amount of data you’re likely to be dealing with on a day-to-day basis won’t be.

Not only that, if you’re maintaining a strong level of success, the amount of data you’ll need to keep will be growing steadily in the background.

Storing all that data in a simple, organised system, from which you can manage daily tasks, categorise all the different stages of your customer experience, and run personalised reports of almost every description, will help you stay focused on what you do best.

The result?  You won’t need to worry about keeping track of new customers, or letting old ones slip through your fingers, as you maintain or grow your business.

There are lots of different systems to choose from, and you may be surprised at how budget-friendly some of them can be!

For example, HubSpot’s basic CRM system is completely free of charge, and includes features such as activity-tracking and contact management, all summarised in a detailed dashboard.  Capsule also has a free CRM that could get you started.

As your business grows and changes, you can upgrade whichever system you coose to include paid add-ons as you need them, as well as integrating with popular apps including Shopify.

If you’d like to talk through the benefits of a CRM system, and how investing in one could seriously benefit your business, then why not book a FREE Discovery Call with me today?

Kathy Ennis

I mentor dynamic, action-taking micro business owners who are not making the profit they deserve or dream of. I help them transform their good ideas into a successful business. I enable them to create simple, sensible, achievable business plans and engagement marketing strategies that turn their passion into profit.