Start with A Commitment to Customer Relationship Management.
Not all Customer Relationship Management systems are created equal — which means before you do anything you need to choose the right one. Take into consideration the sales team, an in-house customer service team, or cloud based personnel. It must be easy to access the data within the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) in-house and remotely.
Next, you need to make some realistic estimates about the amount of data that you’ll be storing, ease of use, simple tracking and place a value on your CRM and do not consider it as an expense. Then use this information to help make your CRM selection.
Keep in mind.
A CRM is an investment in your customers, every employee, from the top on down, that need to be customer active daily. A CRM is also a motivator for companies to shift their focus from commodity to customer-centric, thus gaining another strategic advantage.
There is a positive effect on every employee that interacts with customers and their management team. Take in account that the Customer in CRM helps you see the big picture in your company, what and how the company is functioning and where it may be going.
The following 10 points are a starting point when considering a CRM. For example, what information is needed from the CRM that will help you and the management team to estimate the amount and type of data. With a CRM, all the data you need for decision making, is in one place, helping you respond to a positive or negative situation in real time.
Using a CRM energizes a direct marketing strategy and enables the push toward a customer-centric marketing strategy because of the importance of your customer data. There are many CRM’s available for purchase that meet the needs of many companies.
- 1.Match your products or services to customers’ wants/needs. Your CRM should give you a picture of your customers’ buying patterns. This allows you to customize offers for any direct marketing, email campaign, or other communication channels used by your customer traffic patterns and prospects.
- 2. Select new lists or networking opportunities that fit the profiles of existing customers. The simple existing profiles of your current customers can expand accordingly as you learn more from Google Analytics and other data sources. Website landing pages and call-to-actions are critical to capture data on prospects and customers visits.
- Maximize personalization of communication and offers. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customers by name when offering them a discount or a new product that will peak their interest. The use of personalization grows more important each year and now it’s expected.
- Provide ongoing interaction with your customers. Out of sight is out of mind. Keep in touch with your customers with regular communication. By doing so, you are creating an awareness that triggers consideration and helps to builds loyalty. If you have savvy customers and prospects, use a variety of channels, as in multi-channel. Many CRM packages feature the capability of consistent communication.
- Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. Learn who responds and when they do may alert you to a forming marketing demographic pattern. Use the results to spread offers out to the customers and your prospects. You can also use this method to initiate a response to your competitor’s offers. Don’t forget to analyze and measure.
- Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing is measurable. Websites are measureable. Just about any channel you select, is now measureable. Yes, even direct mail. Evaluate them for its impact on a specific marketing goal. When results aren’t satisfactory, go back and analyze what went wrong.
- Create offers based on customer feedback. Enter customer requests and feedback into a CRM. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if one or the other provides better results. Survey your customers with questions that provide suggestions for potential offers to make in future campaigns!
- Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Use a CRM to record workshops, presentations, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty.
- Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey periodically. If you hear back from inactive customers, make it a personal goal to find out why they left and what it takes for them to return.
- Always remember that a clean CRM is a quality CRM. And a quality CRM results in a valuable business tool that is an asset to your business. Update data daily.
I am always asked why a majority of the CRM’s fail at some point or another. The biggest failure is the lack of everyone using the CRM as designed. People become lazy and hope the next person will fill in the blanks.
I admit in the beginning, the late 80’s they were extremely hard to use. Even today with more user friendly CRM’s, it’s best to start simple and make sure everyone is on board with the CRM. Today there are many CRM’s available and almost impossible to find one that will not work for your company.
Quotes about data and additional reading.
“There was a failure to communicate.”
Data driven marketing, it’s all about data, it’s all about action. Gaining a 360-degree view of customers is one of the most important marketing goals in our digital world. MarketingDoc
Read: Big Data, CRM
Communication is a two-way street. Data management is a two-way street. Data must be collected, analyzed and recorded in a CRM.
Everyone has different customer types. Not all customers are created equal. Identify what key factor(s) set one apart from another and segment your users from one another. Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive.
Data is what makes strategic direct marketing work at its best. A strategic customer-centric marketing platform excels with great data.
Understanding your customer better isn’t as complex as you might think, but it does require a thoughtful analysis of where and how you can collect meaningful data. Scott Gerber
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