May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 6 STITCH SOLUTIONS information is organized, you can get the information you need, when you need it. No more wasting time trying to find that cus- tomer's cell phone number. No more wasted time looking through past orders to see which design file you used for their golf outing. How impressed would your customer be if they received a thank you note with a special offer in it for their anniversary as your cus- tomer? Customer loyalty is the direct result of excellent customer service, and it is easier to provide excellent customer service when you have the information to meet their needs. With time and experience, you will begin to rely on your CRM to help you manage your customers and workflow during crunch times. Depending on what sort of system you have, you can even use your CRM to engage with your customers on social media. If you posted a video or photo of a recent job, you could shoot your customers a quick note or even text them to check it out and include the link to your post. It's important to remember that this tool is described as a Cus- tomer RELATIONSHIP Management tool. The use of a CRM solution is a proven way to deliberately go about the process of building relationships with your customers. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. Connecting with your customers on a one-on-one level fosters the feeling that you know them, you understand their issues and needs, and it positions you as the best resource to meet their needs. Adding a CRM tool to your business increases the "bandwidth" of your ability to con- nect, relate, and serve your customers. Many businesses in this industry, both new and long-standing, small and enormous, do not use CRMs. They rely on a mailing list and their face-to-face time. They have notes on orders, notes on job tickets, and notes on notes—all of which they spend time trying to find. This gets confusing, overwhelming, and frustrat- ing. And the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. When you exist Without a CRM you're keeping notes on paper, post-its, anything but in a well organized system.

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