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How to Keep Your Business Organized and Clients Happy

Manifesting Photographer Podcast Show Notes

Manifesting Photographer Podcast Show Notes

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Key Takeaways

  • Efficiency and Communication: Implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can drastically enhance both business efficiency and client communication, leading to better customer experiences and higher conversion rates.
  • Industry Versatility: CRMs are not just for photographers; they are versatile tools that can be applied across various industries, from massage therapy to dog walking.
  • Automation and Personalization: Contrary to some beliefs, effective automation through CRMs can provide a highly personalized experience for clients, saving time for business owners to focus on creative and strategic tasks.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are revolutionizing the way small businesses operate, particularly within creative industries. As discussed in this engaging dialogue between Breeanna Kay and Deb Mitzel, the benefits of CRM extend far beyond just client tracking. They streamline administrative tasks, enhance communication, and ensure personalized customer experiences—all crucial factors for successfully scaling a business. 

The Advantages of Implementing a CRM System

Embracing Efficiency and Communication

One of the most significant takeaways from the conversation is the undeniable impact CRMs have on enhancing efficiency and communication within businesses. Deb, a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience, emphasizes how a CRM can streamline various processes. “A CRM stands for client relationship management…it is the system that you can use to keep track of all the balls in the air,” she explains. This organized approach allows business owners to efficiently manage client information, appointments, workflows, and communication—all under one platform.

Using automated reminders, templates, and workflows ensures that clients receive timely responses and valuable information, which can significantly impact their decision-making process. According to Breeanna, “When people are at the point where they’re submitting an inquiry through your site, they have that forward momentum…an email that goes out immediately after they hit submit can maintain that energy.” This seamless integration of timely responses maintains momentum and helps in converting leads into customers more effectively.

Multi-Industry Applications

CRMs are not restricted to photography. They can be utilized across diverse service-based industries. As Deb mentions, “There are dog walkers, balloon artists, massage therapists, you name it, they can use it. It’s basically service-based.” This versatility makes CRM systems invaluable tools for any small business playing in the service sector. 

For instance, even in the car dealership industry, CRMs have become integral. “Every business I know has a CRM system…They manage contact information, online scheduling, workflows, and more,” Deb affirms. Whether it’s scheduling appointments or following up on leads, CRMs offer robust solutions tailored to the unique needs of various professions. 

The Misconception of Automation and Personalization

Personalized Automated Experiences

A common misconception is that automation might lead to a less personalized customer experience. However, the dialogue clarifies that thoughtful implementation of CRM automation can actually offer a highly personalized client journey. Deb emphasizes, “Automation can give you an advantage and allow you the time to give really great personalized responses.” By blending automated templates with personalized tweaks, businesses can ensure that each client feels valued and acknowledged.

For example, setting automatic reminders for upcoming payments and appointments doesn’t just streamline the process but also keeps clients informed without constant manual follow-ups. Breeanna experienced this firsthand during the call: “Just while we were on the call, I got an email notification because my CRM is set to send out reminders when payments are coming due…I just got an early payment from a couple.” This real-time automation underscores how CRMs can effectively enhance customer interactions and business operations simultaneously.

Workflows and Consistency

Workflows are key to maintaining consistency in business operations. Deb highlights, “One feature that ties it all together for me is workflows…it’s the process of you doing business.” By creating a structured workflow, businesses can ensure that every client receives the same high-quality service, thus fostering a trustworthy and reliable brand image.

The efficiency and reliability that workflows provide are among the top reasons why businesses see better returns. When clients experience streamlined and professional services consistently, they’re more likely to return and refer others, amplifying business growth. 

Practical Implications of CRM Implementation

Enhanced Client Experiences

One of the pressing benefits of a CRM system is the ability to offer an elevated client experience. As Deb notes, having systems in place where clients can engage with your services seamlessly can be a game-changer. “I’ve had many clients over the years tell me just how much they appreciated not only the communication, but also the consistent reminders of what was going on,” she shares.

Systems where clients can sign contracts, make payments, and access information from their phones make the process convenient and accessible. This level of accessibility is increasingly becoming an expectation rather than a bonus feature, particularly in today’s fast-paced world.

Time-Saving and Focus-Enhancing

CRMs save time for business owners, allowing them to concentrate on creative and strategic elements of their business. Deb recounts assisting a Midwest photographer, “I took a gal from doing everything manually…to being on 17 hats last summer. She shoots about 60 seniors a year and she couldn’t talk enough about the amount of time it saved her.”

By automating routine tasks, business owners can invest their saved time into growth-oriented activities. This shift not only improves operational efficiency but also enhances the owner’s work-life balance, which is often a significant challenge for small business owners.

Client Retention and Referral

Lastly, a well-implemented CRM strategy can significantly improve client retention and referrals. Deb points out the importance of offering a consistent experience: “If I don’t have the same process for both of those moms, and they start talking to each other, they’re going to wonder why… give every client a very similar experience.” Consistency underscores professionalism, which in turn fosters trust and loyalty among clients.

Returning clients and word-of-mouth marketing are invaluable for small business growth. Providing a reliable and pleasant experience ensures that clients not only come back but also bring new customers, amplifying business reach and revenue.

By leveraging CRMs effectively and thoughtfully, small business owners can streamline their operations, enhance client experiences, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth and success. Emphasizing the practical application and the tangible benefits of these systems can help dispel misconceptions about automation and personalization, showcasing how technology can humanize and optimize business interactions.

Notable Quotes:

  1. “It’s taking a client from the start to the finish of their journey with you and giving them the information they need in a way to give them the best experience.” – Deb Mitzel
  2. “The person who gets [clients] the best information the quickest will have the best chance.” – Deb Mitzel
  3. “You can really personalize even the automated parts of things.” – Deb Mitzel
  4. “Having reminders to let them know where they need to be, when what they need to do…People really value that.” – Deb Mitzel
  5. “My main mission is to help small business owners save time so they can live the life of their dreams.” – Deb Mitzel

About the Guest:

Deb Mitzel is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. Transitioning into the role of a small business operations consultant for creative entrepreneurs, Deb combines her extensive business background with her personal passion for photography to help creative professionals streamline and scale their businesses. She is dedicated to optimizing workflows, implementing effective processes, and enhancing customer experiences, drawing from her background in business operations. Deb is also an ambassador for 17hats, a popular CRM tool.

Resources:

Tune into this episode for actionable insights and practical advice from seasoned professional Deb Mitzel. Stay tuned for more episodes of the Rebel CEO podcast to support your journey towards entrepreneurial success.

BREEANNA KAY’S INSTAGRAM:  @breeannakayphotography

REBEL CEO INSTAGRAM:  @rebel.ceo.podcast

BREEANNA KAY’S WEBSITE: breeannakay.com

MANIFESTING PHOTOGRAPHER PODCAST SHOWNOTES:  breeannakay.com/photographer-crm

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