Episode 293

May 1, 2020

Do I need a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)?

Listen to "E293: Do I Need a CRM?" on Spreaker.
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What caught our attention this week?

Discussion Topic

  • Do I need a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)?
  • Consider
    • what you need to track
    • HIPAA compliance if needed
    • tools you already have that could be adapted

Quick Tips


  • Acuity Scheduling
  • The Jojoba Company
  • Yomassage


Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by The Jojoba Company. I believe that massage therapists should only be using the highest quality products because our clients deserve it and our own bodies deserve it. I've been using jojoba for years and here's why: Jojoba is nonallergenic; I can use it on any client and every client safely without a fear of allergic reaction. It won't clog pores so I can use it on all my clients who are prone to acne breakouts. Jojoba does not go rancid; it makes jojoba a great carrier for essential oils. And it won't stain your 100% cotton sheets. The Jojoba Company is the only company in the world that carries 100% pure, first-pressed quality jojoba. And you, our listeners, can get 10% off orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba, that's J-O-J-O-B-A. massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we are firmly in defense of the Oxford comma, one space after a period, and Star Trek over Star Wars. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines I'm Allissa Haines.

MR And we're your hosts. Welcome to our podcast. Happy Friday or whenever you listen to this.

AH Yeah. Rabbit, rabbit. Happy May Day. It's May 1st.

MR Rabbit, rabbit?

AH You do not know the rabbit, rabbit thing?

MR No, what's rabbit, rabbit?

AH Wow. So rabbit, rabbit, it's -- I don't know what it comes from. I got it from my friend Jason. The first day of every month -- and also it's especially big on the first day of a year -- the first person to say rabbit, rabbit has good luck.

MR Oh.

AH Yeah.

MR Okay.

AH I don't know where it comes from. A handful of people I know do this, and yeah, so we've adopted it in my household. So what's going to happen on Friday morning -- because we're recording this on Thursday -- so tomorrow morning, the second the kids wake up -- and it's going to be a contest for them to see which one of them wakes up first -- they're going to come hauling into the bedroom and go, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit. And it is a first day of the month good luck tradition.

MR Wow. I have never in my life heard that.

AH Google it. It's a thing. I'll put it in the show notes.

MR [Laughing]

AH And what is really nice is I know that if I haven't heard from my friend Jason in a couple of weeks or whatever, then I know that the first morning of every month -- because he gets up at like 5 a.m. -- I always have a text that says, rabbit, rabbit with a little bunny emoji. And every so often if I stay up really late and I happen to make it past midnight into the first of the month, I get to beat him and send the test to him. But it's very rare. So yeah, that's --

MR I have a feeling if I teach Eli that tradition, he will find it hilarious and start doing it every month. [Laughing]

AH It's amazing. I'm seriously going to put something in the show notes now because --

MR Okay.

AH -- I want you to know about.

Anyhow, this was banter, and we're trying to avoid banter. So tell me, Michael, what are you reading?

MR What am I reading? Oh, my goodness. Okay, my brain hurts. Okay so I want to give --

AH [Laughing]

MR [Laughing] The theme of every week now is just My Brain Hurts as I'm sure all of your brains hurt too.

So Allissa, I think we both kind of stumbled upon this through -- one of our premium members brought this up this week. We have discovered new guidance for our self-employed peeps, which is pretty much everybody that listens, on how to calculate how much to pay yourself if you received a PPP loan.

So this is called the 8 over 52 rule or the 8/52nds rule. I'm not sure how you'd say that, but anyway. So Allissa, you send me a link from a CPA firm that kind of outlined a little bit of it, and I verified -- I did do some searching and verified by multiple sources including Bench. They had a really good guide, so it looks like it's legit. There was a lot of question about, okay, so you get the PPP loan, let's say you get more than the amount of 8 weeks than you paid yourself in the previous year, what do you do?

So originally, my thinking was pay yourself a little bit extra; it'll probably work out fine. The rules actually are getting a little more specific. This is I think -- I guess the oldest one I found was a couple weeks ago, but it was pretty obscure. And then I'm finding articles more recently as of a few days ago, adding this to their guide. So I think it's a recent thing. But the clarification says that whatever you reported on your Schedule C in 2019, you basically multiple that by 8 over 52, which comes out to like .1538 something something. It's a big long string. But anyway, I did the decimal calculation, multiplied it, and that gives you what you're supposed to pay yourself out of that PPP loan for the next 8 weeks.

So what that means is some of us might be in a situation where we are making more money -- or we end up, you know -- or at the beginning of the year, anyway, made more money and were kind of thinking oh, we'll pay ourselves a little bit more, or 2.5 times ends up being more than 8 weeks anyway, and so we end up having more in PPP loans than we're allowed to pay ourselves. So I don't think it's the end of the world. It might mean you may have to pay a little bit of it back. So pay attention to that. We're linking one of the articles in the show notes, but be aware of that so that you pay yourself the right amount and then set aside whatever you may need to pay back so you can pay that back if and when the time comes if you're not using the rest for things like office rent and utilities.

So I think the spirit of the loan is designed to say, hey, 75% of it you should pay for salary, which again, includes yourself, and then the other 25% is for rent and utilities. But a lot of us are not in that situation because maybe the office has shut down, maybe there's nothing else to spend it on, and so you're kind of in that kind of loophole situation where you've got that discrepancy. So yeah. So be award of that. That's new information we've discovered as of recent days and weeks, and so that is something to be aware of.

AH Excellent.

MR That's why my brain hurts every day. [Laughing]

AH It's so -- I had to kind of step away.

MR We learn new things about this every day.

AH And ultimately, I did a bunch of math and getting the PPP for my massage office -- balancing that against what I would get for unemployment for the same weeks that the PPP would cover and I wouldn't be collecting unemployment. And the math was like -- for me and my single-person operation -- was so close that even though I would probably end up taking home a little bit more money from the PPP, I was like, the stress of it was too much. And I decided to default to the unemployment situation. So you know, there's that.

And I know that a lot of our members felt much the same way and that the PPP is working for a lot of people, and that's wonderful. I had to step away from the mania of it, and I've felt much better since I just made that decision and was like all right, I'm going to take a loss of whatever, a couple hundred bucks or something, and not stress out about it.

And I recognize too that that is -- I am fortunate to be in that situation. And also I'm fortunate that Massachusetts has really stepped up for the unemployment -- the pandemic unemployment assistance and they have that under control. I know there are still people waiting just to apply within their state. But it's coming; it really is coming.

MR Yeah, so it's not the end of the world. It's -- you know, most of it will still be forgiven; some of it may not. Set that part aside. Just kind of plan for it. It's not the end of the world. It's still a program that is helpful to many people.

AH And on a happy note, let me tell you what I've been reading and listening to.

MR Oh, this is so good.

AH This is so good, and it's -- it's just so good. ABMP launched a podcast. And they kind of launched their podcast with a signature series that is titled Conversations in Quarantine. And I don't know when they were envisioning starting their podcast, they probably didn't think this portion of it was going to happen. But if you are like me and you've been having a really hard time with kind of coming to terms with the fact that you haven't touched anyone -- we haven't done massage in weeks and months now -- and the uncertainty and fear about going back and what that's going to look like, and being pressured to go back, or wanting to go back but not being allowed to, or any of these things from any direction, I found -- I'm only three episodes in. This was all so comforting to me.

The first two episodes have our friend Cal Cates who is the executive director and founder of Healwell, who also just put out a great resources for massage therapists about returning to work, and we'll put that -- we've posted it already on our Facebook page, and we'll put that in some other places.

The first two episodes with Cal are fantastic and comforting, and it was really nice to hear from someone who has been working in hospitals and clinical facilities for years, and has a little more insight onto the things that are scaring all of us right now. Episode 3 was with our friend Ruth Werner, who's the author of A Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology. And it's all such measured and compassionate discussion. I myself have been veering into the mood of rage and anger at people, and these podcast episodes have really put me in a better place of sympathy and empathy and compassion for all of my colleagues as we all wade through this in our different ways.

So that's where I'm at with that. We will have the link in the show notes, but you can find it at all the major podcast outlets. So wherever you subscribe to podcasts, look for -- just search on ABMP podcast. And yeah, it's really good. It's really, really good. So that's what I have there.

MR Yay! Nice. All right. So let's show some love to our sponsor Acuity before we move on.

Sponsor message Acuity is the scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to become virtual if they need to and also keep you at brick and mortar if that's what you need. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate, gives you the freedom to do the work that you love, and I lost my place.

MR [Laughing]

AH I'm sorry. [Laughing]

MR Yay, Acuity.

AH Yay, Acuity. I looked away from the screen because I can kind of freestyle this because I love them so much. And Michael and I actually did a webinar for them the other day, which was really, really fun.

Sponsor message But you should also know that from the moment client's book with you, Acuity is right there just to handle stuff. They just automatically send booking confirmations and reminders. You can do text reminders and email reminders, and you can do intake forms, and they're just absolutely lovely. So if you are doing anything to take your business virtual or to expand your services to include something virtual during this downtime and beyond, Acuity can totally help you with that. And even if you're brick-and-mortaring and you're just holding out for the time we can massage people in a room again, this is a great time to make the switch if you're not happy with your scheduling system or get started with online scheduling because you can do all the legwork and setup now and practice with it before you actually have clients scheduling live.

So know that and know that you can get a 45-day free offer when you sign up at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity. And also know that there is a free level you can start on, so you can get all set up and started using the free one, and then just upgrade and get more services for a monthly or annual fee later once you're working again.

AH And that is what I have to say about Acuity.

MR Woot. All right.

AH Yeah.

MR Let's drop some jargon. Let's talk about CRMs.

AH All right. Hey, Michael, what's a CRM?

MR CRM stands for customer relationship manager.

AH And what would one -- you don't have to go --

MR Clear as mud? [Laughing]

AH [Laughing] That's clear. So really tell me a little bit more about what that means, and then I'll jump into the why we might want to use it.

MR Sure. So a CRM is basically a database that stores contact information and stuff about the people you interact with. That's kind of the generic way I would describe it. So an example of a CRM would be -- you know, Acuity can be used as a CRM because it collects data on your clients when they book: you've got their phone number, their email address, their names, their address, stuff like that.

A CRM can be used for things like networking so it's a way to kind of store people that you talk to and their contact information and then maybe notes about the stuff you've talked about. So it's a way to just track the historical interactions and contact information about people that are your clients or people in your network.

AH So like a communication log almost?

MR Yeah, like a communication log.

AH All right. So let me jump into like why -- well, first of all, we're covering this because a premium member asked in our discussion group some questions about CRMs because they're taking some of this time to do admin work and set up really good processes for when they return to work. And kind of a why you might want to use it.

It's kind of like charting on steroids, for your relationship. So we think of charting, and we think treatment notes, right? And some of us have done more extensive charting in the past where we also make note of people's family situations or the name of the grandkids or their pets or things we want to ask them about. This is all of that on super steroids, where it would also log and track email communications you've have with them, phone calls you've had with them, which can come in really handy because we forget stuff. We're humans, and if you're dealing with 20 clients a week or 80 or 100 clients a month, you forget stuff. You forget who has a dog and you forget who said, oh, I can't find that gift certificate but you redeem it anyway, and you forget that so-and-so wanted some information about, whatever, exercises for their cousin's frozen shoulder, and it becomes very easy to forget things when you're having all kinds of communications with so many people each day, each week, each month.

And not just with clients but with referral partners. It really helps to have a log of communications of when you talked to that chiropractor about a certain patient or just in general about getting together, and when was the last time I visited that physical therapist, and when was the last time I had a conversation with the person who supplies me with these wonderful essential oils, all of those things. It puts this all in a trackable and searchable place to help us build and maintain relationships with people, hence the customer relationship manager or client relationship manager, whatever you call it.

This also makes it -- one, it puts every -- puts all the contact and communication information, which is helpful if you've ever been sick and needed to cancel your clients and not -- or your computer was being fussy and you needed to get all the information through your phone, it's helpful to have contact and communication information all in one place. And it makes it really easy to solve and prevent communication problems. If someone's like, hey, didn't I email you about that and you don't remember and you search your email and you can't find it, if you've got a note in your CRM about this, you've going to be able to just easily access and find that information.

Also good records create really good boundaries because, again, they help you avoid memory issues and gray areas around money or scheduling. So if your client cancels last minute or asks again for an appointment that's outside of your normal schedule, sometimes we forget these things happen, and then we start to feel resentful, like, haven't they rescheduled that like nine times? Or didn't I go in on a Sunday for them a whole bunch of times last year? And depending on your scheduling system, some of these -- or didn't I already tell them no? Didn't I already say, no, I can't come in on a Sunday night for you? If you've got a CRM, you can go back and look so that we can validate our own feelings and/or invalidate if we're overreacting or reacting emotionally to something instead of maintaining a really clear, less emotion-fueled boundary. This is really good to have.

So with that in mind on why you might need one, do you need one? Like, you could -- it's not something that every massage therapist needs. I think if you do a lot of communicating with clients outside of your office, if you do a lot of networking and cross-referring with other professionals, if relationships within and outside of your small professional group are really important to you, it could be helpful. You might already have one built into your scheduling system. You might have -- like Michael said with Acuity, you might have features in your scheduling system or your contact management -- depending on how you organize your contacts in your phone or your computer or your records, you might have something built in that you could use and/or you might need a third-party software that does all this for you and embeds on your computer and embeds on your phone and will automatically track emails and phone calls and put them all together like a little file, a little dossier, for every contact that you have.

If you are using this in your massage business, then we're talking about protected health information, potentially. Your client's and contact information, if you're a healthcare provider, is protected health information, and y'all know what that means. That means do you need to have a CRM that's HIPAA compliant? This can be hard to find. I looked through all the major softwares, and I looked through a bunch of programs that integrate with some different scheduling systems, and it's really hard to find a full CRM that's HIPAA compliant and affordable. There's a couple that are built for big medical facility kind of things, but not so much for us.

What I will tell you is I was looking through integrations with specifically Acuity. And Acuity integrates with Google Drive, like with Google Contacts and Sheets, and you can make your Google Drive HIPAA compliant, so that could be an option. I'm not going to --

MR Acuity also has --

AH Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

MR Oh, sorry. I was going to say Acuity also has a HIPAA compliant plant. The Powerhouse plan, which I think is $50 a month, is HIPAA compliant as well.

AH Right so you could have a HIPAA-compliant scheduling system that integrates with a HIPAA-compliant CRM or some, like a Google Drive Contacts and Sheets that you create and customize and it's also HIPAA compliant.

I am choosing to not recommend any other CRMs by name just because it was really hard to find compliant stuff and pricing. And if you're actually feeling like you need a CRM, then you should probably do your own research to find the one that's going to fit best for you. So I'm sorry I can't have an easy answer. But there it is. That's everything -- I know it's kind of short and it feels incomplete because this is one of those things you just got to take a little thought and do some of your own legwork if it's something that's that important to you.

I will tell you straight out, I don't have a CRM. I've tried to use one a couple times, and it just didn't work for me. And then I realized it didn't work for me because I didn't need it. I just needed to add a few bits and pieces to my charts. I started added networking partners into -- I added them to my contacts within my scheduling system, and I made a note that they were a networking partner and not a client, and that helped me to just be able to make notes in their chart, for lack of better terminology, when I needed to. And that worked really well for me. So that's what I've done and it works. What you do and what works for you is going to be a little different.

And Michael, do you have to say anything to that because I'm done.

MR Yeah, I mean, it sounds like you've kind of done this and decided it wasn't for you. But it wouldn't be abnormal or a bad thing, necessarily, to use Acuity or a scheduling system for your client stuff as like a minimal CRM and mainly a booking system and a charting system and then use a different CRM for networking and business stuff.

Like for example, I won't -- I guess we -- not naming names on it, but just a general free CRM out there that's just for keeping in contact with your networking stuff and other people you interact with that are not clients. So that's something you can think about as well.

And then the HIPAA-compliance thing is just -- it's been a while since I've done the training. I did some work with healthcare entities a while back in the marketing and tech world, and HIPAA-compliance thing is just a very complex and often misunderstood thing because it's not so much about just the tool you're using, whether it's a switch you flip to become HIPAA-compliant or not, it's also how you use it because HIPAA applies to practices and behaviors and processes for your own business as well.

So I'm still unsure -- maybe you can correct me if you know more up-to-date information than I do, Allissa, but I'm still unsure if massage therapists need a HIPAA-compliant CRM because if you're not tying health information to their contact information, there's no tie-in that identifies who they are tied to specific health records. So that's a just a question I've always kind of wrestled with.

AH You and me both, baby.

MR Yeah. I mean, it's not like you're saying well, here's a condition they have blah blah blah. You're not going to put that in your CRM. You're going to put that in your charting, which ideally would be different. Maybe it's not.

AH But if there's an email captured that contains information about why you're treating them, then it becomes a different issue.

MR That is true. That is true.

AH Yeah. It's really like -- you know, HIPAA's wackadoodle. And I have major issues with it on so many levels which are not the point of this podcast episode.

MR [Laughing] Yeah.

AH Never mind the fact that are we covered entities? Do we -- there's still nothing anywhere that says massage therapists are covered entities that must be compliant with HIPAA.

MR Right.

AH There are in some states that treat massage a little bit differently. But it's just such as minefield. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be HIPAA compliant. I just don't -- I don't want the tens of hate mails I'm going to get about this.

MR [Laughing]

AH I'm not saying we shouldn't be. I'm just saying we should all follow best practices, and there is a little bit of gray area about who is or is not a covered entity in the massage world. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with any of these things. So yeah, it's just -- it's tricky. But if it's concerning for you, then you can use your client management -- your client stuff -- your scheduling system or whatever you use -- to keep all your client information there, and then for networking and other relationships, use the CRM.

MR And encrypt all your stuff.

AH Encrypt everything and password protect everything.

MR That's whole different episode, though.

AH And your password shouldn't be your dogs name and whatever. We've had other episodes about that.

MR [Laughing] All right. Let's put a pin in that one and move on. [Laughing]. All right. So. Yomassage. Tell me about Yomassage. They're our sponsor as well.

Oh, man. Let's talk about Yomassage.

Sponsor message You, my friends, can become an expert in all things restorative stretch, mindfulness, meditation, and therapeutic touch in a comprehensive three-week virtual Yomassage therapist certification. In the training, you'll learn practices you can offer your clients virtually and then eventually in person in groups or one-on-one settings, when we all get back to living. You can build community with the other therapists as you go through the training. Yomassage is so good at fostering community. They're just wonderful at it. The course has assignments due each week, and weekly discussion posts, and live Q&As, and quizzes. People have told me that it is more intensive and more -- you get more attention from your instructors than you do in live courses. They have really raised the bar for virtual trainings. So there are payment plans available for the May and June virtual trainings. A new training begins every month. The training offers 10.5 NCBTMB CE hours, and they're approved in a couple of different states too; you can talk to them about that. And you can get $50 off courses May through July. You can use the code BLUEPRINT -- all caps, one word, BLUEPRINT. And to learn more and register, you can go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.

AH Struggled a little bit there.

MR [Laughing]

AH Sorry.

MR Hey, we're all struggling right now.

AH Yeah.

MR That's okay.

AH That's just how it is. Michael, do you have a quick tip, or is it just me?

MR I do not. I'm going to just let you take the stage on quick tips today. I got nothing.

AH This is amazing, and I didn't send you this link yesterday when I -- our friend Jen Durkin told me about this, and it saved my day yesterday. There is a dude on YouTube whose name is Wes Tank, and he raps Dr. Seuss books to Dr. Dre beats.

MR You find the craziest stuff.

AH Jen found it and she sent it to me, and I got to say, we had a little bit of a homeschooling meltdown, or we were on the way to a homeschooling meltdown yesterday. And I was like, all right, hey, wait. Let's just take a break, you got to see this. And the kid's like no, no, no because the last thing they want to do is take a break when they're heading towards a meltdown; they just want to ride that train all the way. And I just put it on the screen and I hit play, and it saved our morning. And the kid watched every single video. It was probably 40 minutes sitting in his little chair, bopping around. The Lorax is amazing. And they're all amazing. And One Fish, Two Fish is -- it’s just is phenomenal. It's glorious. So please promise me you will do this with your kid today, or just watch it on your own, which I'm not going to lie, I had it playing in the background for like half an hour this morning. Watch Dr. Seuss being rapped over Dr. Dre beats. It will make you a happier human.

MR All right, I'm going to pull that out next time we have a meltdown.

AH It's so good. It's just so good. Also pro tip for meltdowns, I have a -- it works in my household. I have bookmarked a whole bunch of vintage Muppet Show stuff, like songs and stuff, like Kenny Rogers' The Gambler. And remember the Lime in the Coconut one, the witch doctor one? All these old Muppet Show musical skits, I have a whole bunch of them bookmarked and when -- and some Swedish Chef stuff bookmarked as well. And when there's some kind of tantrum or stubbornness going on, you know, when your kid stomps their feet and goes away and then they start peeking around the corner like they want to come back but they act too stubborn, I literally just sit down in the middle of the living room floor and I put one of these videos on and I crank the volume. And ultimately the kid will come sneaking in the room and sit down and snuggle up and watch the videos.

MR Nice

AH Pro tip. And I enjoy watching them as well. So those are the parenting tips from Allissa today. And that's it. You know, hope everyone's doing okay.

MR Yeah. All right, well, thanks for listening everyone. As always, you can find us online at massagebusinessblueprint.com. Check us out there. I'm sure you've heard that before, but you can send us a note or you can review our podcast on Apple Podcast or you can share it with a friend. All those things would make us happy. So we'll see you next week. Have a great day.

AH Bye.

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