A blog about hope for all small-medium businesses with integration issues!
It can often feel somewhat frustrating for IT teams in small-medium sized businesses - dealing with an increasing number of systems and applications just like their large business counterparts, yet lacking the resources in terms of time and money to integrate them properly. This can leave small-medium businesses in a lurch. In order to compete in this modern market, one needs to be agile and connected. Integrations and automations are part of the toolbox for this, yet seem out of reach.Scroll to next section
Harmonizer enables Autogroep Ursem Barten with non-standard integration options
It can often feel somewhat frustrating for IT teams in small-medium sized businesses - dealing with an increasing number of systems and applications just like their large business counterparts, yet lacking the resources in terms of time and money to integrate them properly. Solutions that fit within budget have been given a test drive or are implemented, yet issues remain.
Often, this has to do with the premise that a lot of modern solutions operate on: standardised cloud applications, with straight through integrations. On premise, legacy or homegrown systems without a standard open API are not catered for (appropriately). Therefore, applying these modern solutions to the ‘older’ environments is a recipe doomed to fail.
This can leave small-medium businesses in a lurch. In order to compete in this modern market, one needs to be agile and connected. Integrations and automations are part of the toolbox for this, yet seem out of reach.
But there is hope!
In this blog, we hope to change your views on this: meet Ursem Barten, a Dutch car dealership, who approached things differently. They have succeeded in integrating and automating manual activities in their marketing processes, and their journey has just begun.
Keep reading for their full story.
About Ursem Barten
Ursem Barten is a family-owned business, operating in the north of the Netherlands. They pride themselves on their core values: sustainability, an innovative approach and being always contactable. They serve over 50,000 customers, with all their car related needs.
To inform their customers, they use newsletters. Like many other businesses, they have turned to automation solutions to make this an efficient process, and allow them to send separate newsletters to separate segments of their customer base. For Ursem Barten, the Hellodialog platform was selected to operationalise this.
Any new system comes with teething issues. In this case, a pressing issue was managing the ‘unsubscribers’ in line with associated legislation. Ursem Barten uses Pinnacle as their CRM system, as a result of a long term partnership.
There was no standard toolbox available to integrate Pinnacle and Hello Dialog. In part, this was due to where Pinnacle was hosted and the API did not support the integration required. Moving to a different CRM system was not really an option for Ursem Barten because their processes are deeply fused with the use of Pinnacle. In addition, there is the long-standing partnership mentioned above.
Updating subscriber preferences including unsubscribers took around three minutes each time: it was a set of manual activities. In a bandwidth-constraint marketing team, this was a significant investment. Therefore, the marketing team was holding back on sending out newsletters. They would have liked to do more, but simply lacked resources to deal with updating the subscription preference each time they sent a newsletter out. Even though unsubscription requests were relatively few, and usually only a small percentage, due to Ursem Barten’s large audience this could sometimes add up to 100 unsubscriptions for a specific newsletter.
When Ursem Barten contacted us, we saw their challenge of making modern tools work in a legacy environment, but didn't hesitate at all. There are so many different paths available to make integrations work!
After a few meetings with their marketing staff, we came to the following optimised way to solve the challenge:
- Each customer has a unique hidden web page in Pinnacle CRM, where they can enter subscription preferences
- From Pinnacle CRM a unique selection is made for every newsletter, respecting the contact preferences of the contacts
- When the newsletter was send from Hellodialog, it includes a unique unsubscribe link in the footer of the newsletter
- When a user unsubscribed for the newsletter this was registered within Hellodialog (opt-out)
- This triggered a webhook for Harmonizer each time a customer unsubscribed
- Harmonizer then acts on the webhook to update preferences in Pinnacle, consisting of the tick marks associated with each customer profile
This way, the unsubscription process is fully automated.
We handled 700 unsubscriptions over the last two months. Against the aforementioned three minutes per unsubscription, we have saved Ursum Barten 2,100 minutes in that time. This is significant for them, and has allowed them to now start planning to send out more newsletters.
This is an obvious win for Ursem Barten’s marketing department, but it will result in more sales, client loyalty and therefore revenue for them as well! In addition this is a win for our partner, Hellodialog, because they get paid on a ‘per newsletter’ basis. Everyone wins in this scenario.
What’s next? Possibilities!
The return on investment for Ursem Barten and Hellodialog was very clear, and therefore both parties are now interested in exploring new use cases for Harmonizer, so they retain more of their time and bandwidth for value-add activities and generate more revenue.
In short: There is hope for all small-medium sized businesses to make operations super efficient
We see this pattern occur for a lot of small-medium sized businesses who believe they are stuck in a ‘legacy’ IT environment, and are missing out on modern integration and automation options. We felt that sharing this case study might inspire some of our audience and hopefully fill them with hope that there is a better way.
By starting with a ‘micro process’ like in the above example, the unsubscriptions, functionality and return on investment can be proven in a limited amount of time and with a limited use of resources for everyone involved. Subsequently, this can be built out as confidence and performance grows.
At Harmonizer, we pride ourselves in doing business differently, focusing on social enablement, trust and adding value before making a profit. We are proud to be working with businesses in all ‘walks of life’, any size and any sector, and getting them unstuck and most of all, send them worry free on their integration journey!
Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay