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The Benefits of CRM Software for 5 Types of Small Businesses

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Last year, Chris Gallo—the head of customer support for Highrise CRM—wrote about how he used Highrise and Basecamp to plan his wedding.

In that post, Gallo wrote about how CRMs and collaboration software can be used for more than just sales teams and marketing agencies.

He says those tools can be useful “for anyone that shares a similar job. The job is keeping track of who they talk to and when they need to follow up.”

That got us thinking: If customer relationship management software could be used to help plan a wedding, could it be adapted to other projects and used by other types of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) as well?

benefits of crm software

SMBs that might not be using a CRM but should be

When you hear the term CRM, you may immediately think, “that’s for sales teams,” and move on. But we are constantly blown away by the wide range of businesses that get value from affordable, easy-to-use CRMs such as TeamGate, Less Annoying CRM, or Highrise.

“What types of businesses?” you might be asking.

Well, among our clients at Highrise we have a geologist who plans his exhibitions and a magician who organizes his shows using a CRM, for example.

Will your small business benefit from a CRM?

Do any of these situations sound familiar?

  • Your team is finding it difficult to keep all of your contact information organized
  • Your team is having trouble keeping track of who has communicated with who
  • You have tried to use spreadsheets to keep track of this information, but it isn’t enough
  • You need a centralized online workspace to gather information and other apps

If so, your team could benefit from a CRM, whether you are running a sales team, a magic theater, or a zoo.

Here are a few more common small business types that could benefit from the organization a CRM tool can provide.

1. Wedding planner

As Gallo found, CRMs are ideal for anyone who coordinates events with multiple people and vendors involved.

Some CRMs even feature different levels of access rights, allowing a wedding planner to give limited data access to individual clients and vendors. That way, the clients and vendors can view all their relevant information in one tidy place instead of searching through emails and spreadsheets and trying to remember what was suggested and confirmed.

Most CRMs offer the ability to track tasks: for example: hire a photographer, pay the deposit for the DJ, confirm the florist, etc.

A CRM also allows the wedding planner to set up reminders for important dates, like the wedding date, so they can follow up each year with a “Happy Anniversary!” message and strengthen client relationships.

2. Nonprofits and churches

Virtually every nonprofit and church could benefit from a tool that keeps track of their members, helps organize events, runs funding campaigns, and sends updates on upcoming events and news to their community.

Well, those are all standard features for most CRMs. Better yet, many popular CRMs even provide discounts for non-profit organizations, including churches.

3. Salons

A successful stylist not only recognizes all of their clients, but is also able to remember important details about them and their families that help them to build personal connections. They are also expected to remember personal style preferences. Imagine what a faux pas it would be to suggest a beehive to a customer who prefers a mohawk.

With avatars and notes, a CRM can ensure that you remember every client down to their name, face, personal information, and style preferences. Many CRMs also have mobile apps that can assist with quick updates when you’re away from a computer or in between clients.

And this information doesn’t just apply to human customers. A CRM can also be a big help to pet salons for the same reasons.

4. Career coach

Career coaches often send out very similar information to many clients in the beginning of the relationship to gather information and determine the best follow-up communication. In that situation, email templates can be super handy.

Recurring tasks help make sure that follow-ups don’t fall through the cracks, while notes and email exchanges keep the communication history for a specific contact always handy. CRMs generally have document storage as well, which is great for keeping track of files such as resumes, cover letters, and headshots.

5. Blogger

As social media has become an integral mode of communication across all industries, most quality CRMs have begun including social media features integrated right into the software. For example, link your Facebook or Twitter account and a good CRM will pull the email addresses of your blog and social media followers right into the system.

You can then send email updates directly to your blog followers letting them know when you have published a new post. The address book can also come in handy when you want to deliver prizes or giveaways.

More benefits of CRM software for SMBs

This list is just a start, but the variety of businesses that could see the benefits of CRM software could go on and on. Consultants, real estate agents, schools, software companies, design firms…

If your team could use help keeping track of client communications, your team can benefit from a CRM.

If you’re looking for one to try out, check out Capterra’s 10 Best Free and Open Source CRM Software Solutions.

If you have story about how your unique team uses a CRM, please share it in the comments. And if you know someone whose team could benefit from a CRM, please share this article with them!

Looking for Customer Relationship Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Relationship Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Lynette Kontny

Lynette Kontny is a COO at Highrise, a simple CRM for organizing your communication, your team, and your business. Lynette loves writing, editing, loosely organizing stuff, and doing things to make Highrise better. And beach days and exploring Chicago with her husband and daughter.

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