Ligero Design

Reading time: 3:52

When father and son team Colin and Ashley Hulme founded specialist LED lighting company Ligero Design, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software soon shone a light on the benefits it could bring to their business.

In 2018, after 30 years working in the LED lighting industry as a consultant and engineer, Colin Hulme teamed up with his son, Ashley, to form Ligero Design.

Putting his design expertise to good use, Ashley and his father soon expanded their client base from industrial and commercial businesses to incorporate architectural and domestic clients.

‘We’d always wanted to do something together,’ begins Ashley. ‘I’ve got a background in design and my dad’s got his engineering experience. We found ourselves at a crossroads in our careers, and we thought it would be the ideal time to team up.’

Lightbulb moment

Colin and Ashley understood the route to building a successful business wasn’t about selling the cheapest product, and their main aims were clear from the start:

  • to help customers reduce their carbon footprint through providing renewable energy-efficient lighting solutions;
  • offering unparalleled customer service.

From an environmental perspective, one of the things Ligero Design did was to ensure their LED lighting systems were as energy efficient as possible. They also partnered with Ecologi, offsetting their carbon footprint through a tree-planting initiative.

When it came to ensuring a consistently high standard of customer service and keeping on top of their customer base, it was no walk in the park. Until they discovered CRM software.

Before we adopted CRM software, we’d piece together information off the back of email chains

‘We first found out about CRM software after we attended a workshop organised by our local Growth Hub,’ Ashley says.

‘One of the people hosting the workshop demonstrated the benefits of CRM software, and I knew from then on we needed to implement it.

‘As soon as I returned to the office, I downloaded a trial version of the software shown and that was it. We were rocking and rolling.’

Seeing the light

Very quickly, Colin and Ashley noticed how streamlined their processes became.

Ashley explains: ‘Before we adopted CRM software, we’d piece together information off the back of email chains. Either that, or we’d just pass notes to each other in the office every time we spoke to a customer.

‘Doing it the old way, we’d occasionally fail to pass information on to each other, or to our installation partners and other contractors we worked with, which could have an impact on our projects.

‘Now, if there’s a specific project my dad’s working on, I can assign everything to him by using the CRM software and he gets an email when there are any updates,’ adds Ashley.

Every piece of the customer journey is held in the same place. It’s so dynamic

The CRM software Ligero Design adopted also helps Colin and Ashley gain a wider view of the financial side of the business, as Colin explains.

‘We’ve found everything is a lot more organised. When it comes to understanding the financials for each project we start, or those we’re providing quotes for, it’s as easy as logging onto the software and seeing where we’re at.

‘Our CRM software also sends us notifications so, rather than having to remember everything we need to do, we’ll get alerts for project reviews; making follow ups with existing customers; or even to discuss quotes with leads to win new business. And every piece of the customer journey is held in the same place. It’s so dynamic.

Versatility and beyond

Another advantage Colin and Ashley have discovered in their CRM software is the flexibility it provides, giving Ligero Design the option of customising the software to suit their business’ needs, as Ashley explains.

‘We’re able to create specific tabs, which can be modified to show us any customer information we need.

‘We've set ours up to have one for general enquiries, another for organising site visits, and others just to stay up-to-date on the different types of interactions we have with our potential and existing customers’.

Colin adds: ‘We can also keep a close eye on our sales metrics and conduct a bit of market research, so we know who our customers are, and what we can potentially offer them going forward.’

CRM software has given us a clearer picture of everything we need to do to help grow our business

Having fully adopted CRM software into their business, Colin and Ashley both appreciate how it has helped strengthen their business outlook.

‘CRM software has given us a clearer picture of everything we need to do to help grow our business,’ Colin explains. ‘It helps give us a basic overview of where we’re at with each project at any time, from taking on new business to working with our existing customers. It’s changed the way we do things for the better

‘We’ve not only reduced the time it takes to plan and organise where we are with new and existing projects, but it’s also helped free us up to focus on other parts of the business, such as planning to win new business.

‘We can keep track of our customers and make sure we’ve got a better understanding of where they sit, as far as future sales are concerned,’ Ashley adds.

For businesses wondering whether CRM software can help enhance their processes, Colin says: ‘CRM software can be as flexible and customisable as you need it to be. That’s the joy – and that’s why so many businesses are now using it.

‘How you decide to use CRM software is entirely up to you; you can either take it all on board, or just the elements you need.

‘Even if you’re not used to using software, give it a try. We did, and the only question we have is why we didn’t do it sooner.’

Do you have a tech adoption success story you'd like to share?

Help to Grow: Digital guidance

Introduction to CRM software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you manage your communications with your customers. We explain the main features and benefits.

6 steps to choosing software

Digital technologies can help your business grow. Our 6 steps will steer you through the buying process, so you can make the right choice.

Apply for 50% off business software

Eligible businesses can get 50% off, up to £5,000, on approved Digital Accounting and Customer Relationship Management software.

Find your software