Elijah Masek-Kelly – Tweak Your Biz https://tweakyourbiz.com Business, Marketing, Entrepreneur Articles. Fri, 13 Jul 2018 07:59:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 https://tweakyourbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-tyb_trans-32x32.png Elijah Masek-Kelly – Tweak Your Biz https://tweakyourbiz.com 32 32 How To Improve Your Business Through Software Automation https://tweakyourbiz.com/technology/2018/02/13/improve-business-software-automation https://tweakyourbiz.com/technology/2018/02/13/improve-business-software-automation#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 07:00:42 +0000 https://tweakyourbiz.com/technology/?p=17005 Software automation is here, and for many companies and individuals it’s the solution to a massive range of daily tasks.

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Ready to significantly improve business processes and grow your bottom line?

Software automation is here, and for many companies and individuals it’s the solution to a massive range of daily tasks.

Forget about shuffling papers and performing menial, repetitive tasks. The future is here.

Spend more time focusing on your business by saving time, cutting costs, improving workflows, and increasing capacity thanks to the wonders of software automation.

How Does Software Automation Work?

The first thing that anyone should realize about software automation is that it does not mean you will never need to work again.

We are no where near the level of artificial intelligence that it would take to replace the human touch – at least not yet…

Using software automation is truly about working smarter, not harder.

There are certain tasks or aspects of our work that we do over and over – simply because it needs to be done to keep everything moving.

Most of these tasks do not require any special skills or critical thought – they are simply repeatable and manual items in the to-do list of running a business.

These are the types of tasks that can be replaced by automation.

Yes – it takes some time to set up.

Yes – you need to monitor your automation and modify to make it as effective as possible.

However, with a little bit of initial input and selecting a great tool – software automation can make your day easier and give you more time to focus on growth!

Let’s Look At A Real-World Example …

Vacation rental businesses may not be the first example you think of in regards to software automation, but this is a great example of how it can be applied for ‘real-world’ tasks and duties.

First, let’s consider the problem.

Many vacation rental businesses are conducted on websites like Airbnb. These sites provide a platform that helps facilitate transactions between hosts and guests, but it doesn’t necessarily provide the tools that can be used to improve the actual vacation rental process.

Tasks like maintenance duties, housekeeping, management of multiple listings, and syncing of calendars need to be done manually–or perhaps there is another solution?

Software as a service (SaaS), while not a new concept, is becoming the go-to method for managing these types of problems. Software automation integration can help people overcome manual tasks and create smooth workflows. 

These types of solutions can really be applied across many different industries – but below, we’re going to outline a few prime examples of exactly how software automation can improve a vacation rental business.

Repetitive Task Automation and Team Management

Customarily, specialized task requests and work orders have been delivered to team members one-by-one by a manager. Juggling each of these orders in turn can be a substantial time sink.

However, imagine how work orders for your staff can be handled with software automation.

It provides the ability for staff to automatically receive and coordinate on work orders once they are created. Everything is permission-based, so only those that need to be “in the know” have access to specific orders.

In addition, team members can view and respond to work requests and duties on a per-booking basis. This is a huge boon to workflow and overall cohesion of efforts across multiple properties.

This is but the tip of the iceberg, however. Once we dial down into more specific use cases, we’re able to easily discover how useful vacation rental software can be to improving a business.

Synchronization of Multiple Accounts and Platforms

Let’s say you are a host with multiple listings. 

This can quickly become overwhelming as you are consistently switching between accounts to make sure everything is being taken care of.

Answering guests’ messages and controlling bookings for each separate listing can be a real problem. Compounding this, some people may even have multi-platform listings that could cause double bookings.

Synchronizing multiple accounts and platforms is a lot easier than it used to be thanks to recent software automation advances. Some software solutions can enable you to see everything in one dashboard.

For example, a business owner could sync various calendar data—Booking.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and more—direct to a single interface.

If they are managing several listings, this means they won’t have to log in and out of different accounts to figure out what’s going on.  This makes it possible to manage various properties in one place no matter where they are listed.

The result? An improved overall customer experience and tons of time and effort saved on behalf of a property manager.

In short, software solutions can bridge multiple accounts into a single platform that caters to multiple needs.

Automated Messaging

In almost every industry – business owners receive multiple messages asking similar questions.

Vacation rental managers specificly receive an enormous amount of messages from guests each day. All of the queries need to be answered promptly in order to impress the guest and get the booking. Fast replies can also help boost Airbnb rankings, which can help push up appearance in the priority list of properties.

All of this can be solved with automation software. It can provide sensational, sophisticated guest communications.

There is auto-scheduling of messages that can be triggered at predetermined times or actions.

Don’t want to miss guest messages or a booking alert? A pop-up notification will help you with this.  

Need a single inbox for guest chats? Today’s software automation offers that, as well, funnelling all communications into an easy-to-access feed.

This is especially true if a business owner has many listings to manage.  Software automation is the key to responding quickly and easily.

Improve Efficiencies Whenever Possible

In the end, software automation is about improving overall team management and efficiency. Having a platform that everyone can see and use to coordinate daily tasks helps enormously.

There are so many small tasks that can be entirely automated with software solutions. Any company that doesn’t adapt will probably become a relic in a short time.

In fact, it is so inherent to nearly every industry that SaaS comparison tools like G2Crowd are popping up to help guide people’s choices.

Now, make no mistake—software automation can’t solve all of your company’s problems, but it can alleviate bottlenecks and provide you with the tools you need to be successful.

How do you use Software Automation? Please share and comment below!

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4 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Strategies With a CRM https://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2018/01/22/4-ways-to-improve-your-marketing-strategies-with-a-crm https://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2018/01/22/4-ways-to-improve-your-marketing-strategies-with-a-crm#comments Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:00:49 +0000 https://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/?p=35175 CRM software is an essential tool for getting more out of your marketing efforts! Here are 4 tips on how to maximize your ROI with CRM software!

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Keeping track of every customer and all their details without a CRM can be a pain point for most small businesses.

After all, processes often develop as they’re needed and may rarely — if ever — get tweaked or updated. As a marketer, you might be using a mix of tools. Tools like spreadsheets, virtual documents, and point solutions, can help you run your marketing campaigns and analyze the results.

But you can dramatically boost your efficiency, strategy, and ROI with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A CRM stores information on your prospects and customers. It includes data like their interactions with your company and key details like their contact information, industry or background, location, and organization size.

Here are the top four ways to enhance your marketing strategy with a CRM.

#1. Segment your leads, prospects, and customers (and understand what makes someone likelier to buy/a good fit)

Imagine if you owned a restaurant. Every single person who walked into your restaurant, regardless of their tastes, dietary preferences, and appetite, got the same meal.

How many people would be happy? Probably only a small percentage.

In the restaurant world, this would be a ludicrous concept and yet it’s similar to sending the same marketing campaigns to everyone in your database.

The information in your CRM is invaluable when it comes to sending relevant, targeted emails to your recipients. Segment your lists based on location, gender, age, industry, purchase history, website behaviour, event attendance, persona, and more.

To give you an idea, you might send an email to people who live within a 20-mile radius of your new store to invite them to the opening. Or you could email everyone who bought a specific product when a related product goes on sale.

Not only will segmentation improve your conversion rates increase, it will give you a better sense of who your “best” customers are.

Imagine you review data from the last quarter and see 20% of your biggest purchases came from a single region. It’s a good idea to prioritize and actively target new leads in that region over less profitable ones.

#2. Personalize your emails with CRM contact fields

Have you ever gotten a message that’s so well-written and personalized you don’t realize it’s a mass email until later?

That’s probably thanks to personalization tokens (a.k.a. email tokens). These let the campaign creator write one generic email that’s sent to every email address on the list. The only catch? The details of each sent email change based on the recipient.

Let’s say your email reads:

Hello [contact_name],

Hope you’re enjoying the lovely spring weather in [contact_city]! To help celebrate the season, we’re offering 40% off our planting supplies. There’s room in your garden shed right next to that [last_product_purchased], right?

Cheers,

Gabrielle at Home Sweet Home

Personalization tokens (also called “email tokens”) fill in the blanks by taking the information from your CRM and seamlessly inserting it. You can add a personalization token for any field (standard or custom) in your CRM system, letting you send infinitely customizable messages. It’s an easy way to add personalization at scale.

#3. Improve the marketing-sales hand-off

One of the biggest sources of conflict between Sales and Marketing? Lead handoffs. Not only do leads constantly slip through the cracks — meaning a salesperson never follows up — but those who do make it through are often rejected by Sales for being “poor fits,” “not interested,” or “tirekickers.”

A CRM can mitigate, if not completely eliminate, those issues.

First, having a CRM system lets you know exactly how old a lead is. The contact creation field will tell you how many days, hours, or even minutes it’s been since they indicated interest in your business (by filling out a form, requesting more information, etc.) That ensures your sales team will follow up in time.

Second, a CRM enables you to track lead scores, or quantified estimates of how likely a prospect is to buy based on factors like behavior and similarity to your ideal customer. With this score, Marketing is held accountable. Their department might be responsible for generating a specific number of “qualified” leads (or leads with a lead score higher than X number) every month.

Sales is held accountable too. If they get a predetermined number of good leads each month, then they should commit to following up with 100% of them at least once, 90% of them twice, 80% three times, and so on.

Some research suggests the average deal requires five follow-ups. If your reps aren’t following up this much, they’re leaving money on the table.

#4. Set up closed-loop reporting to gauge campaign ROI

Closed-loop reporting transforms marketing from a fuzzy, intuition-based discipline into a data-backed science and it tells you where your leads came from, which channels drive the greatest lead quantity, and which channels drive the greatest lead revenue.

Armed with this knowledge, you can make the most accurate decisions about where to invest your time and budget.

To set up closed loop reporting, you need to integrate your marketing analytics software with your CRM software. Now every action your visitors take (from their first visit to your website to purchase) will be tracked in your CRM system.

For example, you can quickly see how many customers your social media campaign generated in the last month versus your email marketing campaign, or how much closed business came from leads who downloaded eBook A vs. B.

Powerful information, right?

This is also highly useful when discussing results with your coworkers, boss, or CEO.

Rather than saying, “I started blogging four months ago, and it seems to be going well,” you can say, “Of the 3,000 people that read our blog last month, 800 became leads and one-third of those ended up buying. That’s an estimated $10,000 in influenced revenue from the blog in one month.”

There are of course a number of CRM software solutions out there. Most cost between $20 per month and $100 per month. In the case you’re bootstrapping and it’s too expensive for you you can always use a free CRM software solution as well.

With a CRM, you’ll be more organized, productive, and profitable.

What’s your secret to using CRM Software? Please leave a comment below and share!

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