Cliftons strikes gold with new CRM

Training and seminar provider Cliftons has rolled out a new CRM solution across its nine Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong sites.

The in-house, Web-based application will replace disparate manual systems which used Tracker and Excel spreadsheets that didn't synchronize between sites or properly record data.

Cliftons general manager Matthew Longmore said the company, which employs 110 staff, needed the CRM to manage inbound room booking requests, outbound customer information calls and online and office direct marketing campaigns.

"Valuable customer information was left in the hands of individual staff and walked out the door each day; if someone was away the following day, we needed to be able to step in and take care of their appointments and maintaining relationship continuity," Longmore said.

"We use electronic marketing and direct mail-outs of up to 8000 pieces every two months; it would easily take six or seven hours to compare different database versions to generate a campaign list because of data duplication and a lack of synchronization."

"The booking confirmation system was manual and labour-intensive, because there was no contact history [so] staff had to retype the contact name and booking details each time. If a confirmation had to be resent, it had to be recreated and there was no way to ensure the confirmation had been received."

He said the company also needed to track the efficiency of sales staff.

"We wanted a system to track [sales staff] activity such as how many calls made per day and whether the calls were for account management or new business generation [so] we could see if we were applying our efforts in the right areas," he said.

The company purchased 50 Goldmine CRM licences from Frontpage following a tender which reviewed Oracle, Siebel, Saleslogix and a custom solution. The software allowed Cliftons to automate its booking confirmation and monitor sales staff appointments to feed into key performance indicators by using add-on program Mastermind.

The CRM manages more than 50,000 contacts in Australia, with about 12,000 controlled in a separately linked GoldMine system in Hong Kong.

Longmore said support provider and FrontRange partner Aaromba Technologies managed implementation as it had to rebuild severs.

"We had to rebuild seven servers overnight to get the synchronization right so we had Aaromba come in and manage the process. We're now nine locations and a call centre sharing two databases," he said.

He said the CRM has dropped mail-out production time by 85 percent and has allowed dynamic features such as HTML and video to be included while applying mail filters and e-mail templates.

"We're now capable of producing a list and having a direct mail-out campaign ready in 45 minutes to an hour."

"We can add a lot more dynamic features to the information we send out, from direct links through to our Web site to offering access to a free, virtual tour of our training facilities. We can create e-mails as a template and apply filters to ensure we send only to clients who have expressed an interest in receiving e-mails.

"We've now reached in excess of 26,000 [Web site] hits per month compared to 11,000 from 12 months ago, based on about 20,000 e-mails sent out every eight weeks and we now acquire 50 new clients a month on average, compared to 10 to 15 before GoldMine."

Cliftons is now looking to additionally segment the contacts database.

"A lot of businesses market different messages to different sectors. Really tailoring our marketing through GoldMine is going to be our next main drive."

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