Clay Café is a place for everyone to indulge their inner artist. The family-centered business is run by first-time entrepreneur and Chief Imagination Officer, Jamie, who encourages her students to put down the phone and enjoy each other’s company and conversation while painting pottery.
More artsy than techie, Jamie relied on paper schedules and phone calls to fill her pottery studio events. The process was inefficient, time consuming and inflexible. But it also allowed her to stay in her comfort-zone…which was far away from big, technical solutions.
She needed a new solution that was easy to implement and to manage but it also had to come with the same hands-on support she gives her students if she was going to overcome her tech-anxiety.
Clay Café is a place to unplug and enjoy time with friends. Managing a paper-based schedule and dealing with no-shows was proving to be a challenge for both Jamie and her employees; one that was keeping them from interacting with their customers and efficiently running the business. While Jamie knew that a digital solution would increase efficiency, her uneasiness surrounding all things tech kept her from taking the plunge.
1. Lack of Commitment = Lost Revenue
Clay Café did not collect payment at the time of registration. Even party booking were completed without a deposit. This meant that there was no way to know exactly how many students were going to show until the class or party started. Jamie recalls a particular class that had nineteen registered students; come class time, only six showed.
2. Playing Telephone
Every aspect of the registration process was handled over the phone. Employees were spending most of their day answering questions, taking bookings and confirming parties. This left little time for them to prepare for upcoming events or maintain the studio.
3. Artsy Not Techie
Hesitant to upgrade even her smartphone for fear of the technical ramifications, Jamie could not envision how she would handle the switch to a digital scheduling solution. Her technical anxiety was holding back business-growth and that had to change. “Technology scares me” she says; which meant that any solution she attempted would have to come with a fair amount of hand-holding.
Fired-Up for Success
Instead of taking every registration for a single student or even an entire party over the phone, nearly all registrations now come through Clay Café’s online Occasion calendar. Payments are processed at the time of booking which moved cash flow into the present and significantly decreased no-shows.
Automated confirmations and reminders have had a dramatic impact on the business. The staff has more time to clean and organize the studio. In fact, the time savings is so significant that they have added more classes to calendar.
Instead of throwing Jamie into the deep end of the pool, the team at Occasion handled the entire initial upload of Clay Café’s data. Not only does each staff member at Clay Café have their own login allowing them quick access to personalized event listings but also has increased efficiency and given Jamie a new found confidence in her own abilities.
"90% of sales have shifted online which saved dozens of hours per employee per week."