The Path to Profitable Relationship Management
We have talked a lot in past posts about maintaining good customer relationships to increase retention and overall satisfaction with your brand. Today, we want to discuss customer relationship management as a tool and general concept, as well as a few ways to execute customer relationship management successfully. Customer relationship management, also just referred to as CRM, is a very popular concept in modern Marketing. When this concept was first introduced, CRM was defined as a data management tool that generated activities for a company to keep in communication with their customers. It involves managing information about customers and managing how many times and in which time sequence they should receive communication from your company in order to increase loyalty. However, the modern definition focuses on the overall process of building and maintaining profitable customer relationships through customer service and focus on customer satisfaction. If you create satisfaction within your customer base, they will continue to be loyal to your company.
The process of attracting customers can be just as difficult as retaining them. Consumers often face a large array of products and services to choose from on a daily basis. People purchase from the company that offers the highest perceived value in their mind. The perceived value to one person can be completely different to someone else. In order to effectively execute a CRM strategy, there are some tips that you should know. We have detailed them below.
- Remember that learning about your customers is never-ending. When you know your customers, you have the best chance of building a relationship with them and making them loyal customers. This is Marketing 101. You need to know your customers to be successful.
- Search to obtain the right kind of customers. You want to go after customers that fit into your target market, but it is also good to differentiate your customer base. This allows you to use your customer base to attract other customers that you may not normally reach.
- Let your customers know that there are people behind the company and do not be afraid to interact with them. This could be through traditional mail, e-mail, phone call, or whatever you see most fitting for your company. It is difficult to cultivate a relationship without having any personal interaction.
- You want to enable seamless communication across your organization, if it is not already very fluid. This is a benefit to customer relationships because it makes their interactions with you easier. The internal communication processes can either make or break your customers experience with your company. This allows for a comprehensive view of each customer’s relationship with your company.
- Treat each customer as an individual. Every customer is unique. They may have similar qualities, but everyone is different and has a favorite way to communicate. You need to segment your customers to effectively managed your relationship with them.
- Anticipate what your customers may need and then fulfill them. For example, with the EU VAT MOSS change that is coming in January, BMT Micro knew this would be a concern for our Vendors, so we made sure to have the changes needed ready so that our customer base would not have to worry about the change. Knowing what your customers want also allows you to offer new products and services that they will want; therefore, making your launches more successful.
- You want to continually increase value for your customers. They want to continue to receive that perceived value that made them choose you in the first place. When you build your customer relationships, you are increasing value for your customers as well as for your organization. When done properly, the strategy of focusing on building relationships is positive for both you and your customers.
The thing to keep in mind is that effective management of your customer relationships requires a human touch and should not be just a technology tool. As the tips above demonstrate, cultivating customer relationships is a very important strategy that must be a part of your business plan.