If you could personally greet every shopper you have and make every customer feel special, your business could grow. Shopkeepers know that a warm smile and a helpful attitude can go a long way towards making that sale. And when their repeat customers walk through the door again? Remembering who they are forms the kernel of a beautiful thing: an ongoing customer relationship.
“Oh, good morning Mrs. Joyce. Nice to see you! How was your trip to France?”
It’s these customer relationships that help build the foundations for long-lasting business success. When you’ve mastered the art of great customer relationships, you are on your way to achieving the holy trinity of business growth:
- Repeat business
- Brand loyalty
- Word-of-mouth advertising
That’s all well and good for the brick-and-mortar shopkeeper, but what about your online business?
That’s why you need customer relationship management (CRM) solution
A CRM is How You Build Relationships (and Keep them Up)
You can’t exactly show your smile to customers who visit you online. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to make them feel welcome. In fact, today’s consumers have expectations about how they should be treated during their shopping experience.
Consumers want loyalty programs, rewards, personalised emails and deals, extra attention given to their concerns, and they want a voice. Many have already found that voice, and it’s on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Consider the power of social media, for example, to act as a megaphone for customer complaints.
A good CRM is how you keep track of customer and prospect data across all those digital channels — email, social media, phone calls, and more. Only by keeping track can you offer what customers want.
A CRM is How You Stay Viable in a Changing Marketplace
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s a customer-centered world out there now. You need everyone in your company to pitch in with marketing messages. Whether it’s customer service or the accounting department, each and every employee will need to put forth the type of effort and attitude that makes customers feel they’re wanted and valued.
It’s how companies compete in an increasingly commoditized, global marketplace.
And in order to inject a customer-focused marketing ideology into every department, companies will need to embrace digitisation via the online platforms that make it all possible. That digitisation is called ‘CRM’.
Why Your CRM Needs to be ‘Robust’
Your CRM must enable your employees to perform the type of deep analysis of online traffic that’s required to build sound relationships with customers. For example, they’ll need to track the behavior of prospects, leads, and customers as they interact with the company website and company social media accounts.
Once they learn behavior, they can adjust goals and processes to match consumer demand and expectations.
Having all the right data in one central location allows sales, marketing, and customer service to collaborate and coordinate their efforts. The result? A seamless presentation of your brand and a consistent message based on your company’s core values.
What Should a CRM Do?
Your CRM should be powerful enough to allow your staff to…
- Communicate effortlessly with one another, even across departments and globally
- Automate certain tasks like scheduling and follow-up calls
- Record every interaction with every prospect and customer
- Provide deep insight into customer behavior in order to optimize marketing
- Allow for easy access to that data from a centralised place
- Help managers understand the big picture through easy, fast reporting
- Allow various departments within your organization to easily see where a customer is in the pipeline… departments including shipping, logistics, sales, marketing, finance, and IT.
In the final analysis, a CRM that’s robust enough to provide your business with all those benefits is going to become one of your most valuable long-term assets. No matter what your business is, from retail to B2B, and no matter what your goals might be, one thing remains the same. Great customer relationships are where it starts and ends.