The Importance of a CRM system for a small business

There are many things that make your business great and off the top of your head you would most likely list; the service you provide, the products you stock and perhaps most importantly your knowledge and expertise. But… what about your customers? Have you overlooked them?
Student Divers

Your customers are more than likely the lifeblood of your business (unless you’re wealthy enough not to need them!!!). They are probably involved with every area of your business. They are someone to train and mentor, join in on diving trips and holidays and buys equipment as well. Customers factor heavily in your business sustainability. I know from personal experience that they are also the life and soul of a dive centre and some of them even seem to live there (you know who they are…).

As a Small to Medium sized Business (SMBs) and as you start up you might know everyone by name, what their favourite dive location is and what trips or equipment they are looking to buy.

But can you remember the extras?

  • When is their Birthday?
  • That regulator they brought, when is it due a service?
  • What was the next course they were interested in?

This is where having some form of system to keep track of things pays off. It could be a trusty diary or spreadsheet, perhaps you have enough PC skills to build a comprehensive data base. However, there is also EVE, which is made for divers by divers. The variety of things it can do for your business is considerable:

  • EVE tracks your students
  • is a point of sale system (sales software)
  • organises your course and trip schedules
  • takes care of your inventory (tells you what you’ve got and even when it’s time to order more)
  • runs your rental (monitoring when it’s time to repair or service equipment)
  • runs your service departments (creating reminders for repeat customers)
  • optional extras included a website and online shop which is linked back to your database.

But coming back to the start it is, at its heart a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). When you link it with other systems like MailChimp and the comprehensive reactive templates from PADI, it becomes what it is designed to be – an additional member of your team (Electronic Virtual Employee – EVE). Once you have the auto agent up and running it will automatically send daily emails including everything from a simple birthday message or servicing reminder to course completion thanks and then lead then in to their next giant stride, enquiry follow ups etc. etc. You can also drill down into the data to do one off campaigns such as Master Scuba Diver (a great one to do now, because PADI has an MSD promo running with deals for you and free MSD application for your divers!)

Auto Email Template for Enriched Air

You can try EVE out for a free for a trail period, download your entire store training history from PADI and once you have imported it in you can let EVE help you to keep in touch with your Customers. Your PADI Regional Manager can help you with training on getting it all set up and running.

The latest Enriched Air Diver email template has now been uploaded to the PADI Islands Library

Please get in touch with your Regional Manager if you need help.




15 Minute Marketing Idea #4 Get To Know Your Customers

Know CustomersPhoto © Henkster

The central part of any effective business is a thorough understanding of your target market. The more you know and understand your customers, the easier it will be to sell them what they need and want. And the more you address your customers’ needs, the more they will purchase from you and refer you to others. This is why taking the time to get to know your customers is a powerful bootstrap marketing technique.

There are many ways you can get to know your customers and show them how much they mean to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Ask for client testimonials and use them in your marketing materials and on your website and within newsletters. Not sure how to get testimonials? One suggestion is to simply call a customer who has just bought a piece of equipment and ask them directly what they thought of it!
  • Send past customers free samples or ask them to test a new piece of kit to regain their business
  • Create a customer satisfaction survey and track the results so you can continually improve your business
  • Send holiday gifts to your most important clients
  • Collect customer birthdays and send coupons or special offers each year
  • Create a “frequent buyer” rewards program

Although you may be marketing to a large group, you want to think of each customer individually. Consider his or her individual needs, and personalise your marketing messages and approach to address those needs. By making your customers feel valued, you are setting the stage for long-term relationships.