Many of the businesses I have visited over the last few years have very similar problems, some of them so similar that I made a video about their standard sales and fulfillment process.
Here are a couple of quick tips that will make your life more efficient.
Quite often I’ve seen someone with the job of punching the consignment details into 3 different systems to get the best price, then creating the consignment again and finally printing out the labels.
A fast solution to this is to use Machship – they act as a single point of freight quoting so you enter in your consignment detail once, and they’ll give you a range of delivery pricing and times, based on your own freight contracts. They’re not a middleman, they’re a technology company – so they won’t stuff up your customer service by getting in the way.
If your freight issue is one of data entry, volume of orders or cross keying errors – then you’ll need to look at an integrated solution (we integrate with Machship) – but if you need to get freight quotes fast, then Machship stands alone and will save loads of time compared to doing it by hand.
Automated Emails with Campaign Monitor
There’s a whole load of email marketing solutions out there which WILDLY vary in both price and quality. I’ve used Campaign Monitor for years – it’s local, it’s good and they have some neat features too.
Their “Journey” feature, which lets you send an automated sequence of emails easily, spaced out over hours, days and weeks, is perfect for on-boarding new clients.
To take advantage of this feature, there are a few simple steps – and one trick!
Firstly, create a list in campaign monitor. Then – create a segment in that list “email contains an @ sign”. This is important because the emails will not send if you manually add them to your list (something that caught me out at first).
Now you can make a Journey. The trigger criteria for the journey should be “when a user enters a segment”.
You’re able to manually create steps – send email, delay, send email – and use this to set up your sequence. If the user unsubscribes, then no more emails will be sent. The first email sends as soon as you add someone to the list – so if you’re doing it manually, try to do it as soon as possible after they sign up, buy, inquire – whatever event you want to trigger the sequence.
BPAY – the old Aussie technology for customers making a payment – is really the dark horse of process automation hacks. I often see clients receipting payments and struggling to allocate the payment against the customer because they rely on the free-text bank narrative to figure out who sent the money.
One of my clients can get 30 records a day with the narrative “Party” and a $100 deposit. Painful.
Using BPAY, every customer has a CRN (customer reference number) which they have to provide to pay you. This means when you get your money, you also know exactly who sent it and what for.
These are just 3 little time savers that don’t require big integrations or costs and can really pay for themselves very quickly.
CRM: Efficiency Hack
Adopting a CRM system is another efficiency hack that has boundless potential for improving business processes. Try Tall Emu CRM free for 30 days and see how our CRM can help you. Start Your Free Trial