Customer relations were always one of the main pillars of the business world. However, in this contemporary environment where inclusive digital tech has pretty much leveled the playing field and allowed smaller companies to compete for head to head with industry giants, playing on the emotions and loyalty of the customer base is one of the most effective ways for standing out from the crowd.
Speaking in cold numbers, research shows that companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by 80%, while about the same percentage of companies that worked to improve CR have experienced an increase in revenue.
But how to attain that stellar CR experience and improve your customer relationship management system? Let us take a look at a couple of suggestions.
Specify your target audience
Effective CR is a product of strong customer loyalty and confidence. Without these two prerequisites relationships with clients easily slip into meandering. However, to make these things possible you first need to have a crystal clear idea about who the people on the other side of the line are. So, go back to the drawing board, conduct thorough market research, and gather as much data as you can from your previous CR efforts. From this research, you will be able to extrapolate effective ways of communication, shopping patterns, likes, dislikes and eliminate all false presumptions about your clients.
Personalize CR service
This is, by far, one of the most effective ways for enriching your company’s customer service. And now that you have rich pools of data you have gathered in the previous step tailoring customer experience for every client shouldn’t be such a tall order. Of course, you should also do your best to be as thorough as possible but your four main points of focus should be personalized product suggestions, personal ads, personal emails, and social media ads. To go one step further, you should do your best to keep track of and celebrate important dates like birthdays or the first purchase with small gifts and promotions.
Keep all of your employees in the loop
In order to achieve this, you will need to have a rock-solid infrastructure that will keep your CR staff up to date as well as allow them to easily hop in and perform critical tasks. Taking into consideration we are living in the age of Cloud computing and collaborative software this may sound far easier than it actually is. For instance, even the most popular products like Gmail lack some of the essential functions like the ability to share groups of contacts across user profiles so you will most likely have to use a third-party Gmail CRM plug-in like Shared Contacts for Gmail to bypass this problem. Keep small quirks like this in mind when building up your toolkit.
Define the entire customer journey
This step will allow you to devise a 360-degree customer experience that will cover all important purchase steps from presales to aftersales. Making most of these important milestones means getting a deep understanding of every touchpoint between your clients and your company. Some of the most important questions you will need to address in this process are:
- Which team interacts with your customers at any given moment
- Can these interactions be made more effective and how
- Is there any better way to get your brand message across
- What exactly are clients trying to accomplish during these interactions
- Are there any obstacles your clients are experiencing in this process
- What type of content are your clients most likely to resort to
Once you find your way through these queries, guiding your existing and potential clients through the purchase process will become a far easier task.
Set up the KPI for your CRM team
Essentially Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are what keeps your CRM team on track, allow you to take notice of potential weaknesses and performance gaps, and, last but not least, make necessary course corrections. In short, KPI’s give your staff clear and measurable goals they can work towards. So, what are some of the most important indicators you should keep track of? In the case of CRM those would be:
- Customer churn (the point when a client leaves the company)
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer retention
- Profits (per customer and overall total)
Provide comprehensive training to your employees
Taking into consideration we are living in the digital age, it is very hard to assess the overall degree to which automation improves customer experience. Without automated CRM software platforms, running any sort of comprehensive and productive customer relations campaigns would be virtually impossible. Even so, the input, ingenuity, experience, and decision-making abilities of your employees still provide the foundation for all these subsequent processes. With that in mind, it is in your best interest to provide your staff with comprehensive training and make sure these foundations don’t have any cracks.
We hope these few mentions will provide you with some general guidelines that will help you refine your CRM strategies and keep your clients happy, satisfied and engaged. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg and you will always need more fine-tuning to stay ahead of the competition. But, as long as you know the general goals you should strive toward, it all becomes a matter of simple reverse engineering.