The Problem

Just acquired by a private equity firm, a regional home services company was faced with a major challenge: wanting to continue spending marketing funds to build the business but having highly limited visibility into how effective their online and offline channels were at bringing in leads and customers. With a legacy customer relationship management (CRM) solution in place and no way to see how customers originally entered their system, the team was unable to know what tactics were worthwhile and which ones to shut off.

The Approach

Not looking to spend additional funds on software or tools, we went to work understanding the legacy CRM’s capabilities and how we could add additional levels of tracking and reporting to help the team understand the impact of their acquisition spend.

Needs Assessment

We first worked with the team members using the solution on a regular basis. Knowing that we might recommend changes, we needed to know what was important to make their day-to-day responsibilities run smoothly and what we could evolve to improve visibility.

CRM Evaluation

Each CRM solution is just a little bit different, meaning we had to learn the ins and outs of their particular tool to understand its capabilities, and understand how we could overcome any limitations. The evaluation led us to understand how the CRM’s pre-existing fields could be used to automatically capture marketing data, so long as the right tracking protocols were first implemented on their website.

Web Code & Contact Form Adjustments

Working with a web development team, we adjusted the way prospect information was captured on the website via contact forms. By correctly syncing the upfront web experience with the backend CRM, we could automatically capture marketing information while ensuring that users had a seamless experience.

Team Training

We knew that adjusting a tool that had historically been manually run would represent a change in everyday workflows for our client’s staff. As a result, prior to pushing any updates live, we first worked with their team to explain the upcoming changes and why they were being made. Upon pushing the updates live, we held training sessions with the team to make them comfortable with the new workflow and troubleshoot any concerns.

Report Creation & Automation

Following the correct CRM set up, it was time to develop custom reports so that the team could easily see how their marketing efforts were trending. Building the reports in the CRM system itself allowed the team to hit “Run” for whatever date range they required, giving them near-instant access to the data they needed.

The Results

By implementing these changes prior to the start of the business’s core season, and then running the data regularly throughout their key season, we were able to clearly understand the value of different marketing efforts:

Channel Efficacy:

Running month-over-month reports on leads and customers, and the different channels that brought them in, allowed us to make informed decisions about the value of different channels to drive not just leads but leads that actually converted into paying customers. Further, it allowed for “make goods” from vendors whose channels grossly underperformed versus expectations.

Cost Per Conversion:

By comparing the cost spent on channels relative to the leads and customers they brought in, we were able to isolate the cost-per-lead and cost-per-customer metrics on a channel-by-channel basis. This again offered our client strong visibility into different channels’ efficiencies.

Customer Acquisition Cost:

Additionally, with clean tracking in place, it was easy to understand customer acquisition cost (CAC), and isolate ways to decrease CAC to improve their bottom line.

By the end of the key season, the client had a clear plan in place for the subsequent year. They knew exactly which channels to turn on, when to turn them on, and the return they could expect from their next year’s marketing efforts.

Did You Know...

UTM codes are a fantastic way to track how effective (or not effective) digital efforts are at driving customer interest. Using Google URL Builder, a free tool from Google, lets you affix tracking codes (e.g. UTM codes) to your digital marketing efforts. With the right CRM setup in place, you can pull that code information from individuals when they land on your website, letting you understand exactly which tactics led to individuals becoming customers.


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