When you start up a business you meet a lot of new people and keep a close eye on your relationships. Usually a spreadsheet works just fine to keep you organized but as you grow you start to think about something more sophisticated to keep you on track.
This is how Sue Keogh, Director and founder of Sookio, an award winning digital agency, based in Cambridge, UK, discovered Capsule exactly five years ago today.
“I started with a spreadsheet. It was really simple, listing the various contacts I had and where they were based, so next time I was in the area I would make a note to get in touch.”
Sookio develop digital strategies, campaigns, create content plus they train digital skills through a range of inhouse and online workshops. As the business started to grow, Sue was very conscious of the risks of keeping all the detailed information about her clients and prospects in her head. But putting business tools in place at this early stage seemed one step too far.
“As a small business I thought, do I really need these tools? It all seemed a bit too grown-up. Silly really as the sooner you get them in, the better, as they actually help you grow.”
Sue chose Capsule initially to store all her contact information and keep track of her client relationships, yet the more she used it, the more she discovered it could do.
“The thing I like about Capsule is that when I was first getting to know how to use it any time I thought, I wonder if it does this, it always did.”
In the early days, Sue used Capsule mainly as a client database to organize their information and record activity. They created tags for each contact so they could quickly see important information such as the source of a lead. Suddenly, it was much easier to understand their clients and segment their audience.
It was also incredibly useful for Sue to have a system in place to remind her when she next needed to contact a client, to make sure nothing fell through the cracks.
“I’d send a proposal and think, great, job done. But it’s not, you have to follow it up. I needed a nudge to remind me to do that a few days later and I get that with Capsule.”
“Now I can see all my tasks in a batch so I quickly know all the calls I need to make this week and can set aside a couple of hours to get through them.”
You can take good client service for granted but it requires a lot of hard work and organization. A CRM like Capsule can help you stay organized and on top of your client communications.
“We proactively communicate with our clients regularly. Capsule is good at triggering that activity, so when a project comes to an end, we put a note in Capsule to remind us in two to three months time, to send an interesting, helpful article so we stay top of mind. It makes sure the relationship doesn’t drift.”
Similarly, when a project is put on hold for a couple of months, it’s much easier for Capsule to remember to follow up rather than relying on yourself.
“Capsule keeps us organized behind the scenes. If a project is on hold and a client doesn’t want to commit to a follow up date, we can still get that date in the diary to jog their memory and the client doesn’t feel under pressure. It helps our client relationships as they understand we care as we’re always in touch.”
This approach clearly works for Sookio, it’s a well established, growing business, where client retention is high and if people ever do move away, they quickly come back.
Today, the team has grown twice fold, including more sales focused roles and Capsule is the focal point for their weekly meetings.
“Every week we now have a very clear and accurate focal point for our sales meeting, in the midst of the many conversations we are all having. Capsule helps us see everything in black and white, we are aware of the realistic opportunities so we never take our eyes off them.”
Sue admits that it’s not enough to have the tools in place, you have to train people to use them correctly and in a consistent way or your data becomes inaccurate.
“When I looked through our pipeline, I’d been adding opportunities but never closing them so it looked like we had millions landing at any moment!”
This was quickly tidied up so they now have one accurate source of truth. Even though the team are out and about a lot, it doesn’t get in the way of keeping Capsule up to date.
“I use the mobile app, it’s useful when I’m out at lots of meetings, I get to update Capsule on the train.”
Sookio was founded in 2008 by Sue Keogh after a career as a website editor for the BBC, ITV.com, Magic FM, Yahoo and AOL. Turning freelance whilst juggling the arrival of a new baby, Sue became a social media expert and people were regularly getting in touch for help growing their brands online. Before she knew it, she had started her own business. People often found the name ‘Sue Keogh’ difficult to pronounce, so she was always writing it out phonetically. When she needed a name for her business, it seemed right to us the one she regularly wrote - Sookio.
There’s an exciting future ahead for Sookio, they’ve recently taken on a Head of Production so they can do more video and podcasting work, they’ve launched Sookio school, a new series of bitesize courses and have been winning lots of awards. As her new administrator Naomi, helps free up Sue’s time, she is looking forward to speaking at more events in 2020, networking and growing the business, you can keep up to date on their progress by following @sookio on twitter.