Recently I met with Emma Semper Hopkins of Semper Hopkins Interior and Upholstery to chat about her business. Emma and I worked together almost three years ago as she needed a CRM system, and I am pleased to hear that the CRM is still working hard in her business. We reflected on life before a CRM and life now.
Learn more about Emma and her business further on.
So, can you describe to us the problems that you were trying to solve before we first met?
I had contact information in a variety of places. I was bombarded with messages on Facebook, email, and direct messages. It was easy to lose track of those contacts and enquiries and I was worried I was going to miss them.
Before we met I was keeping notes in my diary, and, as the business grew busier, I was wasting time looking back for client information. I knew I needed to have everything in one place and a more automated system.
To give you an example, I deliver bespoke pieces of furniture for my customers, so I needed to retain really key information about that piece of work against the customer, their specification details, fabric choices and measurements. It would come down to the simple things like, for example, visiting a client and I couldn’t easily lay my hands on their address. Before my CRM, I would have been going back through hand written files to find essential
What was the problem affecting you?
I was missing important leads. As I was getting messages on different platforms rather than directing them into my email inbox. So there was a chance they were getting lost. I couldn’t keep track of where they were at. If someone messaged me on Facebook, it would just get buried and I’d have to make a concerted effort daily to visit the places where all my enquiries could potentially come in and spend a lot of time sorting through those.
I was keeping track of the jobs that we had on the go using a manual paper process. I wanted it all to be automated and in one place so I could see where we were at a moment in time.
Can you tell me the solutions you considered before reaching out?
I looked at a CRM myself and I’m not a techy person. I was really overwhelmed. I didn’t have the knowledge. I think I signed up for a CRM. Looked blankly at it and didn’t know what to do next. I quickly realized that my time was worth more bringing in new customers and delivering on the work that I had going on. I didn’t see the value in me as a non-expert trying to figure it out.
Did you consider any risks before us going ahead?
It was a no brainer. It was going to save me time. I knew, of course, that there would be some upfront time on my part for Veronica to sit down with me in an extract what my process was for my customers to get them from A to Z, but I factored that in and. I knew longer term it was something I had to invest in because it’s otherwise it is something you always put off.
Why did you choose to work with us?
I had no reservations in contacting Veronica. In fact, I didn’t look at anyone else. I felt we got on really well. I’d seen her on Facebook, and then she came to see me at the workshop and I’d seen the work that she’d done, and I just trusted her. I need to be able to get on with people. And it was a gut feeling. I just trusted that Veronica could do the job. In fact, since we started the project nearly three years ago, we have remained in regular contact and I was
right in my feelings.
So can you tell me in quantifiable terms the results you got from working with us?
Well, firstly, it saves time. Everything is now in one place. So the time that I was spending going back through my old notes, trying to work out where I was up to with an enquiry, where I was up to with a current piece of work that I was delivering on is now visible in seconds.
I was spending considerable time daily and weekly, tracing my steps backwards and trying to find where I’d put that information. So time is the biggest result that I got in return.
It also makes me more credible. I can respond to my prospects and my customers at the touch of a button. I know where we were up to when we last spoke. I can pick that up straight away and I can really see that. Since first starting with Veronica, I have employed two members of staff and the CRM is crucial to that. So now we all have a window into what is going on at any one time, so my staff can see where we are up to with an order and pick up
the next step. They are self-sufficient. They don’t need to keep coming back to me. They can see what the next step are in the workflow is and that is giving me, as a business owner, head space.
My website also speaks to the CRM, so enquiries that come through the website, they will land into the CRM and that we can then start the journey from there on in with them. The integration of different tools that I use has also been valuable, not only the website but my Xero accounting also integrates, so it’s allowing me to grow and futureproof my business. I think the efficiency in the day to day running of the business really works for me.
Do you have any final words?
It’s a no brainer.
About Emma and her business
Emma started her business 6 years ago providing customers the unique opportunity to have a beloved piece of furniture lovingly reupholstered. Today Emma’s business is predominantly delivering upholstery workshops from her converted chapel in Scholar Green on the Cheshire/Staffordshire boarder. In one of her workshops, you can handmake a piece of furniture unique to you, which you get to take home at the end of the day. An item to treasure forever and a reminder of the joy we can bring into our lives when we tap into our fun and creative side.
You can contact Emma through her website here