Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Important Than Ever - CRM

The top 5 tips to engage and deepen your customers loyalty

Today Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plays an immensely critical role in this hellacious business climate with increased competition, fewer consumer dollars to spread around and an ever increasing feeling by consumers of not being listened to.

If you aren't taking care of your customers - someone else will. Hence it is vital for companies to have strong CRM in place; otherwise it not only leads to losing customers but also creates a ripple effect of brand degradation and a bad image in the market.

Once a business is 'tainted' with a bad image, the cost of repair is great. You are much better off to invest in solid CRM tactics upfront and avoid the damage.

Think about it, it is just too easy to post negative comments about a business on SM sites. And, as the old saying goes, "People will tell one person about a good experience but will tell ten about a bad one." In today's world, they can tell thousands - even millions with the click of a mouse!

Whether you are talking about on or offline tactics, even though the vehicle is slightly different, here is my short list of "must have" CRM activities for any business:

1) Recognize customers' interactions with you. Thank and reward them - every time.

2) Don't set finite triggers that blast everyone at the same time in the buying cycle with the same message. Refine your analytics to determine the unique triggers of each customer and establish actions that are exclusively personal and meaningful.

3) Reward complainers. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if they take the time to complain, they are wishing that they had experienced a positive exchange with you and you let them down. Listen and learn. Complainers can very quickly be turned into your biggest fans and advocates.

4) Be consistent. DO NOT start a CRM Program and then abandon it or get lazy. This will backfire on you, big time. Give it time to impact your relationship with your customers.

5) Ensure that you have C-Level support for your Program and that means: make sure you are allocated the appropriate budget to do the job right (or don't do it at all) and create timely reporting to show the gains or losses caused by the Program. If you show losses, include swift remedies in the report and implement them immediately. Once you have turned the situation around, report your success (hopefully!) on the next report.

Happy Marketing!