Category: Blog Page

How CRM helps make the customer experience great

The holy grail for any business is a loyal customer base. Customers that keep coming back again and again. These are the people you can up-sell to and rely on.

People keep coming back to you if they think what you do is the best around and when you meet or exceed their expectations. It’s not just about your product or service, it’s also about how they are treated.

The big bugbears

The thing that is bound to turn your customers into your competitor’s customers is shoddy customer service. And the number one bugbear from your customer’s point of view is perceived inefficiencies. These include:

  • The customer feels they are not listened to
  • Poor communications
  • Too many sales messages – of the wrong sort

Streamlining your customers’ journey and eradicating inefficiencies will go a long way towards making your customers loyal.

CRM – THE weapon in your arsenal

You want your customer’s journey to be seamless. Utilising the features of a CRM system will keep you on top of every customer interaction.

Centralised data

With a CRM system, you only have to input customer details once. This information is centrally stored, accessible to the whole workforce. Every communication is logged. This avoids missed messages, duplications and misunderstandings. Up to the minute information is only a click away. Anyone who picks up a query from a customer can deal with it straight away without having to refer it on.

More effective communications

If a customer rings to speak to your sales manager who is out, the call is logged, and the sales manager can pick it up and respond accordingly whilst away from the office. No more scraps of paper left on desks until the sales manager returns at the end of the day (or the next morning)!

Having the latest communications to hand when dealing with a customer means they can be confident in both your business and your workforce.

More effective messages

It’s all about getting the right message to the right person. By analysing customer interaction with your marketing means you can start to tailor your messages to best effect.

Automated services

The beauty of a CRM system is that many tasks can be automated. Great for the customer as you can spend more time on them and less time on the admin!

What do you want?

Using CRM to drive your business communications and growth allows you to get a clearer picture of customer preferences and buying history. To achieve the best results why not use the CRM survey facility? Asking your customers what they want, how you can improve and how you can help them is an effective way to show them that their opinions matter to you.

Efficient project management

Having absolute clarity on the status of your sales pipeline, projects and internal processes is important for customer retention. It means you can be accurate when planning deadlines and you can update your customers quickly and easily on progress.

Appreciating loyalty

Customers like to be appreciated and will spend more if they are. With a CRM system, you can easily see and track the buying habits of your loyal customers. Instigating a reward scheme does wonders for customer satisfaction levels and retention.

Keeping it simple

A CRM system simplifies all the internal process you need to run and grow your business. It’s this simplification and streamlining that makes for a positive customer experience.

CRM – a great customer experience sorted.

For more information on how a CRM system can grow your business, please email me at [email protected] or give me a call on 0800 049 6044

Getting your message across – succeeding at email marketing

Shouting about it

Email marketing is a very effective way to publicise your brand, build relationships with your customers/prospects and ultimately increase your sales.

Crafting successful campaigns is easier than you’d think if you avoid the rookie mistakes that will render all your hard work fruitless.

Spamming, inaccurate data, unclear messages and not measuring response are the most common mistakes people make to lose out on potential sales.

Right message, right person

What you don’t want to do with your email marketing is send Spam. Your good name and IP address will suffer badly if you are sending multiple messages that the people in your contact database don’t want to receive.

There are a few things you can do to ensure that your messages are Spam-free and well received.

Clean data – a must

It may seem like a dull task, but the cleaner your data the more effective you will be. Invest some time and money into ensuring your contacts are up-to-date. There’s little point in sending messages to John if John left the company 3 years ago!

It’s the law that companies are required to keep clean, accurate customer records. This legislation will certainly tighten when the GDPR is adopted in May.

There are companies out there that will validate your contact database for you – well worth the investment in our view.
Clean data will yield a much higher return on investment, making the most of your marketing budget.

Sort it out

Getting the right message to the right person is critical, so it’s worth segmenting your data. How you do this is largely dependent on the type of business you are.

Popular segmentation techniques are; by age, gender, location, buying history and inactive/new customers.

You can do a lot to personalise and target messages if you have more detailed information on who you are writing to.

A scattergun approach has a lot less traction than a well-crafted, targeted message.

Imagine you sell gardening equipment. Why send an email promoting the latest top of the range lawnmower to someone who bought a lawn mower from you a month ago? With data segmentation, you can instead write to everyone who’s recently bought a lawnmower from you promoting the latest leaf blowers, composters or Cath Kidston gardening gloves!

Analyse this

It is well worth your time analysing the results of every email you send. Who opened it? What was the focus of the email? What type of subject line gets the best response? Every bit of information you can glean will enable you to focus your messages more effectively.

Test what works best

The Kulahub system has a very handy A/B testing facility built in. To gauge what subject lines work most effectively for your audience, 10% of your contacts will receive the message with subject line A and another 10% will receive subject line B. After 4 hours the remaining 80% of your contacts will receive the email with whichever subject line received most opens initially. And with a one tick set-up, it’s a very easy way to see what works best for you and your audience.

Hitting your email marketing targets

In summary, the more you know about your audience the more you can focus your messages to get the best engagement.

If you need any guidance on creating and managing your email marketing campaigns just email [email protected] or give Andrew Booth a call on 0800 049 6044

9 Top Tips – Crafting Email Subject Lines that get Opened

First impressions count, as the old adage goes. This is never truer than with your email marketing and newsletters. You want your email to be opened, read and clicked on and all that starts with the email subject line.
How you craft your email subject lines depends on the type of email you are sending. It’s always worth keeping in mind who you are writing to and what action you want them to take. Is it a sales email, a promotional offer or a keeping in touch email? These all require a slightly different approach.

So, to make your emails more clickable, here are our top 9 tips on what to bear in mind.

1 Personalisation

The more personal you can be the better. If you can add the person you are addressing in the email subject line you have an immediate interest. If you can’t use the name, then using ‘you’ and ‘your’ will help to personalise your message.
Also, bear in mind that if you familiarise the sender name can also help. Obviously, never use the ‘[email protected]’ address for promotional offers. It makes your communication much less personable and prevents the recipient adding the address to their address book. There is a place for the no reply address and marketing ain’t it!
In broad terms, a name will gain more traction than a generic address.

2 Short is sweet

The more concise you can make your subject line the better, especially as a lot of your audience will be reading your messages on mobile devices, which will cut your subject line off after about 50 characters. Try to weed out the words that matter less if your subject line is too long.

3 Tell the inside story

Your subject line should be an indication of what the content holds whether it’s the details of a special offer, an industry expertise article or a newsletter. Don’t be tempted to make a false promise. Whatever your email subject line promises, make sure you honour it straight away in your content. Anything less will break trust and up your unsubscribe total.

4 Segmentation

The more you can segment your contacts the better you can target your messages. You can alter your communications depending on their preferences and buying history.
A subject line of ‘20% off all organic beef’ is not going to interest your strictly vegetarian customer. In fact, you may lose them if they are led to believe your messages are not relevant.

5 Easy as 1 2 3

Putting numbers in your subject line is a good way of enticing interest. Compare the generic subject line – ‘How to improve on visits to your website’ with ‘Increase visits to your website by 50% today.’

If you are introducing a guidance/how-to email, then consider replacing something generic like ‘How to write email subject lines that are more likely to be opened’ with ’10 Top Tips – Crafting Subject Lines that get Opened’ and if you’re reading this then hopefully the subject line helped! It’s a more direct and dynamic subject line which shows the recipient exactly what the body of the email contains (point 3)

For a product or event, consider piquing interest by adding a number, for example, ‘join the 250 people already attending this spectacular event’

6 Urgency

Think about what action you want the recipient to take. Creating a sense of urgency works well for sales messages. ’24 hours left to claim your discount’ encourages the reader to take immediate action or miss out. ‘How to increase uptake to your events today’ implies easy fix solutions that can be immediately applied’. Great for building trust.

This kind of subject line should be used with caution and authenticity. Overuse can lead to a lack of trust in your brand, so only use it when there really is a need for immediate action.

7 Ask a compelling question

Posing a question is a good way to pique your readers’ interest so that they click on your email to find out more. A question subject line resonates with the reader and their experiences – ‘Are you using these techniques to improve buyer engagement?’ ‘Are you making these common ab exercise mistakes?’ If your content answers the question it is a good way to engage your readers

8 How to…

How to subject lines are useful because they clearly describe the content. The trick with them is to focus on the benefits to the reader. No one wants to read a lengthy tome describing the details of processes. What they do want to know is how this would benefit them (which will further increase their interest and engagement )– e.g. ‘How segmenting your data improves buyer engagement’ or ‘How leasing the right car can put pounds in your pocket’

9 DON’T SHOUT AT ME!!!!!!!

It doesn’t matter how fabulous a deal you are running or how much what you have to impart will benefit the reader, if your title is in CAPS LOCK, then it’s like being shouted at. A LOT. Be very wary of using this feature for risk of alienating your customer. Likewise, a non-hysterical approach to the use of exclamation marks will serve you well. One will do, more than that risks your authenticity. Emojis can add colour and interest to your subject line, but again, be cautious about how you use them and know your audience before you do.

If you would like any further guidance on email marketing or how to organise and segment your data, please contact us [email protected] or give Andrew Booth a call on 0800 049 6044

How KulaHub helps you to achieve GDPR compliance

 

A question many of our clients are asking is ‘How can KulaHub help us to achieve GDPR compliance?’. We’ve created this article to help answer that question in a simple, yet informative manner while also helping to educate our clients on the main aspects of GDPR. It is our interpretation of the main aspects of the legislation and how we believe that KulaHub helps to address them.

GDPR is extensive and runs to many pages of legislation so to help keep it manageable and relevant, the article is based on three important areas of GDPR:

  1. The main GDPR data protection principles
  2. Lawful basis for processing
  3. Individual rights

Below you will find quotes from the Information Commissioner’s Office(ICO) website about a specific aspect of GDPR within the above three areas and then our explanation of how KulaHub can help you to implement or comply with that aspect of GDPR. Text with “ ” around it is quoted mostly verbatim from the GDPR section of the ICO website.

We highly recommend reviewing the material on the ICO website as this is the government body responsible for upholding data privacy and GDPR. Their material is comprehensive and written in plain English.

Please note: Nothing in this document constitutes legal advice. While KulaHub can help an organisation to achieve GDPR compliance, it is only part of the solution and each organisation is responsible for ensuring that their systems and processes comply with GDPR.

Key definition

Personal data – The GDPR applies to ‘personal data’ meaning any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

The main GDPR data protection principles

Under the GDPR, the data protection principles set out the main responsibilities for organisations.

Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:

a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals”

KulaHub helps to track what and how data is being processed about an individual in a centralised, secure facility. User activity logs show what activity a user has performed on an individual’s record ensuring an audit trail of user activity to an individual.

“b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;”

Many activities that a user undertakes in KulaHub are logged which helps to demonstrate what processing has taken place and therefore whether the data has been processed in the correct manner.

“c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;”

Only each client will know what is adequate and relevant in relation to their business and contacts. However, KulaHub can help to demonstrate and track what processing has taken place on a contact to show compliance with principle (c).

“d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;”

With KulaHub being a cloud-based, multi-user CRM system, it makes it much easier for each client to ensure that the data in KulaHub is accurate and up to date and to remove inaccurate data. If personal data is stored in shared spreadsheets or on paper, it makes it much more difficult to adhere to principle (d).

“e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals;”

KulaHub’s comprehensive reporting features help to identify which contacts have not been updated since a specific date. Depending on your own business processes, you can then determine whether further processing of their data is warranted.

“f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.”

This is the main area where using KulaHub can really help with your GDPR compliance:

  • KulaHub requires a username and password to login to the system.
  • Activity on a contact is logged showing what the activity was, who undertook the activity and when.
  • KulaHub requires a secure, https connection in a web browser to access the system ensuring data is secure in transit.
  • The database data is encrypted at rest, in other words, it is encrypted when it is stored in the database.
  • Files, such as documents and emails, are backed up in real-time to a separate storage area. and all database transactions are logged.
  • The database behind KulaHub is backed up in real-time with point in time restore for up to 28 days.
  • The system is hosted in the UK in a Microsoft data centre, with the added security benefits that brings from one of the world’s largest companies.

Lawful basis for processing

“You must have a valid lawful basis on which to process personal data.
There are six available lawful bases for processing. No single basis is ’better’ or more important than the others – which basis is most appropriate to use will depend on your purpose and relationship with the individual. The 6 bases are:

  • Consent
  • Contract
  • Legal obligation
  • Vital interests
  • Public tasks
  • Legitimate interests

Legitimate interests, Consent and Contract will be the three that most of our clients will use with Legitimate interest being the main one that we feel many clients will adopt.

  • Legitimate interests is the most flexible lawful basis for processing, but you cannot assume it will always be the most appropriate.
  • It is likely to be most appropriate where you use people’s data in ways they would reasonably expect and which have a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.
  • If you choose to rely on legitimate interests, you are taking on extra responsibility for considering and protecting people’s rights and interests.
  • Public authorities can only rely on legitimate interests if they are processing for a legitimate reason other than performing their tasks as a public authority.
  • There are three elements to the legitimate interests basis. It helps to think of this as a three-part test. You need to:
    • identify a legitimate interest;
    • show that the processing is necessary to achieve it; and
    • balance it against the individual’s interests, rights and freedoms.
  •  The legitimate interests can be your own interests or the interests of third parties. They can include commercial interests, individual interests or broader societal benefits.
  • The processing must be necessary. If you can reasonably achieve the same result in another less intrusive way, legitimate interests will not apply.
  • You must balance your interests against the individual. If they would not reasonably expect the processing, or if it would cause unjustified harm, their interests are likely to override your legitimate interests.
  • Keep a record of your legitimate interests assessment (LIA) to help you demonstrate compliance if required.
  • You must include details of your legitimate interests in your privacy notice.

We recommend viewing the ICO website page for further guidance and helpful checklists about Legitimate interests:

“Consent basis at a glance

  • The GDPR sets a high standard for consent. But you often won’t need consent. If consent is difficult, look for a different lawful basis.
  • Consent means offering individuals real choice and control. Genuine consent should put individuals in charge, build customer trust and engagement, and enhance your reputation.
  • Check your consent practices and your existing consents. Refresh your consents if they don’t meet the GDPR standard.
  • Consent requires a positive opt-in. Don’t use pre-ticked boxes or any other method of default consent.
  • Explicit consent requires a very clear and specific statement of consent.
  • Keep your consent requests separate from other terms and conditions.
  • Be specific and ‘granular’ so that you get separate consent for separate things. Vague or blanket consent is not enough.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Name any third party controllers who will rely on the consent.
  • Make it easy for people to withdraw consent and tell them how.
  • Keep evidence of consent – who, when, how, and what you told people.
  • Keep consent under review, and refresh it if anything changes.
  • Avoid making consent to processing a precondition of a service.
  • Public authorities and employers will need to take extra care to show that consent is freely given, and should avoid over-reliance on consent.

We recommend viewing the ICO page for further guidance and helpful checklists about Consent

KulaHub has the tools to help you manage your Legitimate interests compliance and also your Consent compliance.

 

Individual rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals:

a) “The right to be informed”

This is effectively your organisation’s privacy notice and is outside the scope of KulaHub. However, the ICO has issued guidance on the right to be informed

b) “The right of access

  • Individuals have the right to access their personal data and supplementary information.
  • The right of access allows individuals to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of the processing.

The heart of KulaHub is a centralised contact management system, making it easy to provide an individual with information on the details your organisation holds about them. Our easy to use template merge facility can be used to easily generate a document containing the basic details you hold about the individual.

c) “The right to rectification

  • The GDPR gives individuals the right to have personal data rectified.
  • Personal data can be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

An individual’s record can easily be found using our simple and fast contact search facility. Once found, it is a simple process to modify the record as required.

d) “The right to erasure

  • The right to erasure is also known as ‘the right to be forgotten’.
  • The broad principle underpinning this right is to enable an individual to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

We have a new ‘Right to be Forgotten’ feature which will be made live in the next few days. This feature will remove most of a contact’s record in KulaHub but will retain the basic details such as name and postcode. However, even these basic details will be ‘hidden’ from users of the system. The reason for retaining some details, rather than just deleting the record, is it allows KulaHub to make sure the record cannot be accidentally added back in, thereby helping to prevent a company from breaching GDPR compliance rules.

e) “The right to restrict processing

  • Individuals have a right to ‘block’ or suppress processing of personal data.
  • When processing is restricted, you are permitted to store the personal data, but not further process it.
  • You can retain just enough information about the individual to ensure that the restriction is respected in future.

We have a new feature in development, that will be a ‘Right to restrict processing’. This will retain the contact’s details but will prevent further processing. This feature will be available soon.

f) “The right to data portability”

KulaHub has a sophisticated reporting facility that allows for data to be exported to Excel and CSV that can then be provided to the contact, or to an approved third party.

g) “The right to object

  • processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling);
    direct marketing (including profiling); and
  • processing for purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics.

KulaHub’s easy to use contact management system and email marketing tools make complying with this right much easier and streamlined. We have a simple ‘e-marketing yes/no’ option next to every contact and all email campaigns automatically include an easy unsubscribe mechanism.

Our clients can also customise KulaHub to suit their specific needs with the use of custom contact fields and custom form fields if they need to capture additional information for GDPR compliance.

h) “Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.”

Outside the scope of KulaHub

We will continue to track developments from the ICO. A final confirmation of compliance requirements is due to be published on 10-11 April. They are also planning an awareness-raising campaign to the public on their rights over how their data is used and stored. We will pass on any further updates as they occur.

Further information about the scope of the new legislation can be found on our earlier blog; When you absolutely should have all your eggs in one basket  and on the GDPR website page

If you have any questions on how the KulaHub system helps with GDPR compliance, please email [email protected]

How to capture traffic on your website

The business world has gone digital and it can sometimes throw up some problems. Back in the day, if someone had an enquiry about what you do/sell they would be in touch.

These days they will most likely do the research via a search engine.

The decision to buy

The length of time between someone deciding they have a problem and deciding who they think can solve it for them varies hugely. Nowadays, people at the beginning of buying decision don’t want to directly engage. They prefer instead to do internet research and only engage further down the buying process when they have narrowed down their options.

Only when someone contacts you to confirm prices do you know they are there. They are hidden from view until then.

Your website. Your shopfront

A website could well be the first port of call for a potential buyer, so it must represent your brand well. Studies have shown that a visitor makes up their mind about a website in 3 seconds – not long to make a good impression!

Capturing the potential buyer

Hitting the sweet spot with your website can vary depending on your industry. However, there are some aspects that are the same:

  • Your website should look professionally representative of your industry – it needs to inspire confidence in the reader that they have come to the right place.
  • It should not be too content heavy – remember you have only 3 seconds to impress.
  • Remember to convey clearly and concisely who you are and what you do.

A willing exchange

Make sure your potential buyer has ready access to information, but offer them more in exchange for their email address (and only their email address). Most people are willing to do this even though they are not yet ready to engage directly. This can be in the form of a free download or price list for example.

As soon as they do this you know who they are, but proceed with caution. Your follow-up should be a gentle ‘can we help you with anything at the moment?’ approach and not a bombardment of sales messages!

Create a sales funnel

Modern websites often channel their visitors. For example, asking them which industry they represent, or which of your products or services are of interest. They are then directed to information that is targeted and relevant. Targeted information is more likely to illicit a contact address.

Nurturing

Once you know your potential customer and their field of interest it is easier to then develop a relationship with them.

A good CRM system is linked to your website. This means when someone gives you their email address they are automatically added. At this point you are able to communicate the right messages to your prospects at the right times, moving them down the sales funnel.

For more information on linking a website with a CRM system, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] or give me a call on 0800 049 6044