Do you ever look at a friend, who you think has been the same for for many years, and suddenly think… they look older/fatter/thinner/different? For so long they look the same. You see them every day. They always look the same. Then you notice that there has been a huge shift. It has happened over many years, but you notice it as a single jump?
Well, I noticed that with my emails. For many years we have been sending out our Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) questionnaires through Salesforce Classic templates. They do the job, but they are ‘transactional’. Meaning that they are just barely good-looking enough to be sent to clients. It is possible to create anything with them, as they are HTML, but at some effort and expense.
On the other hand, we send out our ‘marketing’ emails through Campaign Monitor. This has a lovely editor that makes producing beautiful emails a joy. However, they are marketing emails, so if people have not given us permission they do not receive them. For many years, Campaign Monitor has had ‘Transactional Emails’, but the coding to get them to work seemed to be a lot of effort.
Then, like noticing the change in a friend, I noticed that the integration we use has a feature called ‘Smart Emails’. This gives the ability to use Campaign Monitor for our transactional emails EASILY.
In a few minutes, I created a Campaign Monitor template and replaced our outdated CSAT email. A thing of beauty! Even better, it registered a task against the client every time one of the questionnaires was sent out. Instead of a horrible link to click, the client is presented with a beautiful button.
Our CSAT response rate has improved since switching to the new transactional emails
As everyone knows, with emails response rate is one of the most important metrics.
Techy bit: even mapping fields from Salesforce to the emails is a cinch!
Our transactional emails now look as beautiful as our marketing emails!
If you would like to find out more (and use Salesforce and Campaign monitor, or would like to), let me know on this form
It is a common misconception that in order to talk with technical people, you need to talk their language. It’s wrong and it’s dangerous and it’s expensive… let me explain.
This might feel painful, but you will understand more of the process at the end.
When you are talking to a (good) consultant they will have a breadth of knowledge about their specialist area. They also want to find the best solution for you within your budget. Let’s use cars as an analogy. Everyone knows about cars?!
You sit at home and you know that the ‘best’ electric car is a Tesla.
You also know that you want to carry a lot of luggage, so you want a Tesla Cybertruck
You go to your car consultant and tell them to source you a Tesla Cybertruck in green. A friend down the pub/coffee shop/round the water cooler had told you that you wanted a green car.
You live in a difficult area, so you also want strong windows. (See this video if you want to see why this is a funny request.)
Your consultant explains to you that that Cybertruck only comes in bare metal and there are ‘issues’ with the windows.
At this point there are typically 4 responses. The potential customer:
1) Mutters about how useless the consultant is in not being able to source a green Cybertruck. Cost zero, but time wasted… which is money.
2) Splashes the cash for a Cybertruck ($70,000), and then paints it green. Cost >$70,000
3) NHS response: there are no products in the market that 100% fit the list of requirements, so employ a very expensive set of consultants to set up an Electric Vehicle research department, a manufacturing facility and end up with something way over budget, that doesn’t work and another NHS funding fiasco is born. (Thinking in a few years the NHS can achieve what it took Tesla 10 years to achieve.) Cost millions and millions and millions. Rinse and repeat. I worked in the NHS in the 80’s. They were doing it then, and they are still doing it in their IT systems.
4) Continue to engage with the consultant…
At this point, a consultant should ask.
Why do you want a Tesla Cybertruck in green?
You start to explain that you want to be part of the ‘green revolution’. You discuss this further with the consultant and they explain it is about using energy responsibly and from renewable sources. You like the idea of this. They explain how by choosing the right car you can significantly reduce your running costs.
They ask you about the sort of trips you do. You tell them your driving is around the city. It is just you who ever uses the car. By ‘luggage’ space, you mean enough for 3 bags of groceries every week. So they are just about to suggest a Renault Twizy. A ‘car’ for 1.5 people with a very limited range. Job done… and you have exactly the WRONG car.
In a flash of honesty, you also explain that you also like to make trips of around 200 miles on these trips you need to comfortably fit 2 adults and 2 children in the car. A Twizy would not have been right, at all! In this case the consultant might suggest a Renault Zoe – a car with great range and good seating. You decide that now you have a green car, you would like the paint job to be black.
(When the consultant asked the question, ‘Do you EVER do long trips?’ the temptation is to say ‘no’ in order to save money. In this case, it would have been a costly mistake that the consultant would probably have been blamed for. Try to answer honestly. If you do long trips, but rarely, the answer might be to buy a Twizy and use the money saved to hire a vehicle for the rare times you do very long trips. See how variations in your answers can vary the proposed solution.)
Oh, and that problem with the ‘difficult’ area… you still have room in your budget for an armoured garage and security system 😉 On the other hand, it might be cheaper to move.
That all said, I have no associations with Tesla or Renault. My expertise is in Salesforce… I love it when people tell me what they are trying to achieve, and their budget. I can often save them money and get them something better than they asked for.
When a proposal comes through, the temptation is to scrimp on the section that says, ‘training’. Your people will pick it up. (Like they still don’t know how to use styles in their word processor, after 25 years?) Would you really want to be driving around in a car with an unlicensed driver? Oh! The stories I could tell.
Talking of training… we have some free training coming up… see our front page for details.
When I searched for ‘Create a Buzz’, this photo was not what I was after. On the other hand, it is fun so it will probably get you to engage.
There is a problem on the internet. How do you get people to engage and follow you?
Well, a friend of mine has come up with a brilliant idea.
It is a party.
What sort of party?
Fancy dress? Come as you were?
It is a LinkedIn Party. A group of you get together. (OK, you all share a WhatsApp conversation.)
You all post on LinkedIn.
You all copy the link to the post into WhatsApp.
You then open all the posts of the other people, react to them (on LinkedIn) and reply (on LinkedIn).
Just do it for an hour a week, all at the same time.
You will have created a Buzz.
Now, if only this idea were mine, but it isn’t.
This great idea is another fun and effective technique from Adam Brooks of SkineeRino.
Pop over to his website and find out more of his brilliant madness!
One of the bigger, if not the biggest business decision is purchasing a new CRM system. (Customer Relationship Management system)
This information is not Salesforce specific!!!
While I do consult on Salesforce, this guide is deliberately about what a CRM can do for your business or charity. It is not about Salesforce!
So, grab a cuppa, sit back and watch the video. It’s about 20 minutes long.
At the end you should know what to consider before looking for a CRM system.
Did you notice that the last 12 months has been interesting? Rather like that curse, may you live in ‘interesting times’.
For me, it has been a time of re-engaging with my lovely, lovely customers. A year ago, I gave up my staff, gave up the office, started working from home (again).
What I realised is that I love being the ‘front-man’ for the business who works with customers and discovers what delights them. I also found out that there is a lot more demand out there than I could satisfy on my own. What to do?
Whatever Cloud Genius is, it is a small business. By that, I don’t mean that it is small-minded. We have our eyes on the stars! What I do mean is that I always want it to have that feeling where you are talking to someone real.
I know that asking you to submit requests through the support@ email has been a challenge, at times, for some. What happens behind the scenes is that it means you get served quicker. It means that subsequent emails you send are grouped together… so that when you ask? What has happened, we know. When we want to look at the issues you have, we know, too. It also paves the way for expansion. You may have noticed the use of the word ‘we’… it has already begun to happen.
In the last year, I have tracked down an excellent recruitment agency. (Believe me, there are lots of bad ones.) I have also begun to engage trusted individuals, who I have worked with over a period of 14 years. These are coming together to increase the capacity of Cloud Genius. At the same time, I don’t want to lose touch with customers.
The challenge: how do we maintain that small business closeness and flexibility, but also expand to give you a better service?
There will be a couple of changes. First, some of those help requests may be dealt with directly by other people.
Second, I am going to start up a ‘Lunch and Learn’ group. We had a trial this month (March 2021). The sharing of information is going to happen monthly, on a Thursday, for 45 minutes at lunchtime. Of course, we will be using Zoom. It gets rid of travel, need to hire venues and gets rid of travel time. These are going to focus on different aspects of Salesforce. You guessed it, the customers get to name the topic. Look out for an email, soon!
This article will also be published on Medium… if you slide over there, you will have an opportunity to comment!