What’s Your Business’s Bull Terrier?4 min read

CRM is a stark and intimidating acronym for what should be a fun, inventive and rewarding aspect of any business. Even written out as Customer Relationship Management it still sounds cold and impersonal, which at least is a handy reminder that these are exactly the impressions your CRM should avoid at all costs!

In a previous job, I worked for a high street clothing chain that took particular pride in creating unusual and engaging ways of bringing customers into, and more importantly, back into the store. Their ideas could range from the ingenious to the (occasionally) frankly unsettling; I’ll never forget the spring that the shop windows were decorated with lurid pink rubber gloves, inflated to give the effect of cows udders lining the top of the windows like bunting…

As revolting as this was, it was still an effective ice breaker with the customers and definitely a stronger starting point than “Can I help you with anything today?”

 

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Some of the Christmas window display props. Note the giant brussels sprout in the bottom right!

 

Other, less out-there ideas included:

• A multi-use discount voucher shaped to look like a Custard Cream
• A spot the sprouts hidden round the store competition for kids at Christmas
• The creation of the annual ‘National Wear a Tea Cosy on Your Head Day’ for charity where any customer sporting a tea cosy while shopping would receive a discount on their purchases
• The insanely popular late night customer events, where everyone on the mailing list would receive a special invitation that entitled them to a discount, (customers wishing to sign up on the day would also be welcome to the saving.) Wine and nibbles were served in the late afternoon and evening, which always went down well with the customers and staff alike!

Online businesses can find it harder to implement these kind of ideas and engage with your customers in a way that will keep your business in the forefront of their minds. However, it really is the little things that make all the difference.

With all the CRM software available, it’s easier than ever to automate your communications with your customers, but this doesn’t mean that they need to be boring!

Why not create a fantastic follow up campaign that thanks new customers for their first purchase? Don’t forget to add something engaging; you could include a picture of your team smiling and waving, showcase a product that they might be interested in based on their initial purchase, or create a welcome pack full of great offers and rewards to entice them.

Digital Gearbox recently helped create a digital welcome pack for one of our clients, to be sent out to new customers in an email via a first purchase follow up Infusionsoft campaign. This idea is especially powerful in the age of the smartphone, where people will often leave the house without remembering to pick up their discount vouchers, but will never go anywhere without their phones. I’ve seen that proved hundreds of times first-hand during my days behind the counter. Giving customers the chance to be connected with you and your business, conveniently from the palm of their hand is not something you want to miss out on.

The digital marketplace doesn’t have to be as cold and impersonal as the acronym CRM seems. Harness your vision, imagination and passion for your business and come up with some exciting ways to make your customers smile.

Think about the things that make your business different, or even just what makes YOU different. The more you, the more authentic personality you can imbue your business with, the better your chances of making an impact on your customers.

At the front of the store where I worked, we had on display two mannequins, one of which held the lead to a full sized and strikingly realistic model of a bull terrier. It would be impossible to overestimate the number of times that this dog made the customers smile, then come over to talk to the staff about him. He was a tiny aspect of our big store and not for sale, (although we had plenty of offers) but he made such an impact on hundreds of our customers – so much so that many of them, from children to grandparents, would enter the store just to visit him.

So take a moment today to think, what’s your business’s bull terrier? What is it about who you are and what you do that will make your customers smile? Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment; this small idea could be the next big thing for your business.

Becky Hopkin

As MD Becky works to ensure Digital Gearbox’s values are being lived, and that our customers are receiving the best service possible. A self-confessed Disney fanatic, Becky loves spending down time with her golden Labrador, Nala, and her young daughter, Emily.

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