Case Study 1: Carriages Client Database
I was approached by Cath, the owner of an independent beauty spa attached to a local hotel; a popular business providing hair and beauty treatments and spa day experiences. Being a very busy business, the salon's CRM system had run out of control as everyone had had a hand in entering client data, when no-one really had the time to look after the job properly. Cath was getting frustrated that marketing emails were bouncing back and address labels for printed literature were untidy which reflected badly on the image of the salon.
I was brought in to tidy it up and declutter it from all the duplications. There were over 2000 records in the system so the job was going to take time to work on. The filing of the paper records had also got out of hand and they needed to be stored for several years for insurance purposes.
My initial task was to alphabetise the paper records and re-file them. They needed to be checked against the digital record in the CRM system, so much better to be in alphabetical order to start with. That was a lot of paper to put into order!
The salon CRM system is a live system that is used to book clients in for appointments, and it was not suitable for me to work on the system during salon opening times, and it was not suitable for me to handle the work on-site in the salon for a number of reasons (space and image in particular). Fortunately the owner/manager already had remote access set up for the CRM so she can access the system off site, so access was added for me to get in to the system from the AdminAnywhere office. So, I handled the work on the CRM over a number of weeks, on Monday's when the salon is closed.
A few weeks later I presented a much tidier CRM with complete addresses including postcodes, and potentially better functioning email addresses (sometimes you just can't decipher handwriting when it comes to email addresses, but you can often see straight away if something is wrong in the structure; for example with gmails they're always @gmail.com and not .co.uk).
I can't recall how many duplicated records were merged or deleted, there were too many; and most of the query records were reconciled.
I handed back 6 lever arch folders, neatly labelled, with the paper records pristinely filed with everyone from Able to Zac; and a database that the manager was eager to utilise for a new marketing newsletter. A CRM that she was certain she wasn't going to allow to get into such a state again.
It's now a simple task of adding the new customer records and keeping my eye out for new duplications. So I continue to visit the salon each month to collect the new paper records, input them back at AdminAnywhere base, and return them the month after, to file and repeat the process again. It can just be a couple of hours each month, but that fits in perfectly around other support handled by AdminAnywhere. I'm also on call to support Cath with other bits of admin work and occasional proofreading for Carriages.
My database is essential to Carriages and the key to our business growth. I can now use it to keep in contact with my customers, and send out newsletters and details of special offers. Emails don't bounce back as much now and we can find customers when they return for new appointments. And, I don't even have to worry about the filing as Julia even files the paper records when she comes to see us each month. Everyone needs a Julia!
Cath Harrop, Carriages Hair & Beauty