Implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM delivers significant cost and time savings

“CRM has also been a catalyst for us to bring together our business processes and really refine them to ensure we’re working as efficiently as possible. It’s helped force us, as a business, to progress; ensuring that across the business we are running our processes properly.”

Vicky Roberts, CRM Manager, Ribby Hall

Ribby Hall Village is a holiday village set in 100 acres of countryside in Wrea Green just outside of Blackpool.

Founded in 1994, Ribby Hall Village now welcomes tens of thousands of guests every year to its cottage and lodge accommodation, vast array of sport and leisure activities, restaurants, cafés, bars and The Spa Hotel.

A build up of disparate applications and departments

Ribby Hall Village had undergone a high level of growth over a short period of time. Starting out as a small, family run business with a handful of staff, there had been little investment in systems. Now, as a business employing over 500 people and with various departments, Ribby Hall found it was collecting lots of data but it was building up in disparate applications and departments. And as a result, the Short Breaks and Spa Hotel business had its data silo, as did the conferences and banqueting department, leisure club and the loyalty system.

Ribby Hall realised the need to consolidate its data to help improve business processes, take advantage of the intelligence available, reduce the amount of manual data collection and begin an automated customer lifecycle journey. Phase one in their plan was a marketing focused project as originally Ribby Hall were looking for a system that would help streamline and automate marketing efforts, primarily around email. “We were looking to bring it in house away from an outside agency.” explains Vicky Roberts, CRM Manager, Ribby Hall Village. “We also knew strategically that we needed to bring Ribby together as a whole. With each division operating its own systems, we had pockets of data in different areas of the village. You could be a customer in all the different parts of the village, and your data could be captured separately in each. It may be accurate in some areas, missing salient points in others.”

Ribby Hall identified Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be the perfect platform. Ribby Hall’s overarching strategic objective was to move the company to the next level, consolidating data and refining business processes were identified as the key drivers in meeting that objective.

"With each division operating its own systems, we had pockets of data in different areas of the village."

A comprehensive solution to consolidate data and meet marketing needs

Incremental worked with Ribby and implemented a comprehensive solution to meet its Short Breaks and Spa Hotel booking data consolidation and marketing needs, using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

CRM Online leverages workflow to progress customers through the Ribby customer journey which includes email marketing and SMS messages at strategic points before, during and after a stay. Workflow is also used to determine the loyalty level a customer attains, and this also drives special processes for VIP clients.

Phase one of the project brought all of Ribby Hall’s short break guests into CRM. It was kept quite simple at the start, managing email marketing through CRM and setting up automated triggered workflows to get the beginnings of a customer journey in place. This included changes such as automated communications before guest arrivals, which previously had to be managed manually. Phase one also automated communications for Ribby’s loyalty scheme.

The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online solution doesn’t just stop at email marketing, but includes SMS communication as well. Vicky explained, “We now have SMS automation that sends offers and information to guests, to help improve customer satisfaction and cross–division sales.”

Phase two of the project brought a wealth of additional workflows and improvements to Ribby Hall’s business processes thanks to an increased familiarity with the system. Vicky explained, “With the second phase we were more familiar with CRM. The more we understood it, the more we realised how we could advance. Phase two introduced a lot of new workflows and customer segmentation of our guests, allowing us to categorise individuals as different customer types for our various divisions. We can now collect all this information and obtain a full view of everything our customer’s do with us.” Guest classification helps Ribby to ensure they aren’t just blanket marketing to people. “Classification levels range through from initial interest to lapsed customers and we can now market accordingly to them by knowing this information.”

Workflows have also been put in place to help refine the customer journey, increase customer satisfaction and improve cross selling opportunities. One key workflow is a reminder communication workflow to prompt guests to book activities in advance of their stay. Previously Ribby Hall had a large number of guests wanting to book activities upon arrival, but who missed out because they were fully booked. This workflow takes the customer on a pre booking journey including the options to book activities and other items in good time.

The implementation has also helped Ribby Hall to manage our customer feedback in a much more streamlined manner. Vicky explained, “We actively encourage our guests to give us honest feedback on their stay and with the new CRM system we are able to log, track, trace and respond in a personalised manner to any feedback we receive.”

“We have guest classification now to ensure we aren’t just blanket marketing to people. Classification levels range through from initial interest to lapsed customers and we can now market accordingly to them by knowing this information.”

An array of quantifiable business benefits

  • Incredible savings – Vicky Roberts, CRM Manager explained “We have saved £92K to date in marketing costs which has more than paid for all project work. To send 1 million emails through our previous methods would have cost approx £80k a year. This is now reduced to just £23k.”
  • Duplicates reduced by up to 90% – Extensive business process work has vastly improved data quality and duplicates caused by user error have been reduced to less than 5 per week from what used to be 30-50.
  • Improved ROI and customer profiling – Ribby Hall has built a single view of customers allowing them to target them better. In addition it has allowed Ribby Hall to determine which customers are profitable and which are not.
  • Improved customer retention – The improvements in processes has allowed Ribby Hall to more efficiently deal with all customers and provide them with what they need, increasing customer satisfaction. This increases the chance of both retaining business, and attaining more business which ultimately enhances turnover and profit.
  • Staff time savings – Vicky Roberts explained, “Increased automated communications has saved us valuable staff time both in marketing and in the bookings team themselves, and has also helped ensure a streamlined and consistent customer journey.”
  • Improved reporting and management information – Customer service and feedback are all now managed through CRM providing pertinent management information, that can highlight where the business is losing money and where improvements need to be made.
  • Intelligent marketing – Ribby Hall have gone from a blanket marketing approach to a much more focused, streamlined and bespoke approach.
  • A catalyst for business process change – Vicky explained, “CRM has also been a catalyst for us to bring together our business processes and really refine them to ensure we’re working as efficiently as possible. It’s helped force us, as a business, to progress; ensuring that across the business we are running our processes properly. CRM has given us a reason to explain to everyone at every level the importance of accurate data capture, which in turn has helped us refine and improve the processes themselves.”

"We have saved £92K to date in marketing costs which has more than paid for all project work."

Migrating every area of the business to Dynamics CRM

The success of the initial Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online phases and it’s internal promotion has led to a business strategy in which CRM is at the core. Each area of the business will eventually be migrated into Dynamics CRM, from either a data or application perspective. This will build on Ribby’s core customer data and provide insight across the business. Most importantly, the customer will be part of a connected campaign of engagement.

Ribby Hall is looking to continue to maximise their return on investment by bringing both the Health Club area of their business and their loyalty system into CRM. Vicky Roberts explained, “As an incredibly fast growing business, we’re constantly evolving and changing. What is clear is that there is potential for efficiency improvements across the departments. As people have started to understand CRM, there’s almost a fight for who gets to implement CRM into their area first. Many departments are wanting to take advantage of this new, powerful system as they recognise the benefits that CRM can bring.”

"Many departments are wanting to take advantage of this new, powerful system as they recognise the benefits that CRM can bring."

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