What are the keys to any relationship? I would bet that if you have been in any kind of long-term relationship, whether it is a romantic one or a friendship, you know at least some of the answers. The problem is that we often do not apply those same principles to our customer relationships.
We also seldom think of ways that our customer relationship management software can help us do those things because while you might not be able to automate some of the contact with your spouse, you can automate some of the contact with your customer.
Your CRM can do more than just automate some of your contact though. It can help you remember touchpoints with your customer and even some facts about them. It enables you to know where they are in their buyer’s journey, or what purchases they have already made and when they might be ready for another sale.
Of course, all of this starts with a good, customized CRM. Even before you get there though, you can decide to put the relationship in customer relationship management. Here’s how.
Keeping in Touch
If you have a friend or relative you do not see all the time, how do you maintain your relationship? You stay in touch. In CRM language though, this means more than just sending out a form email. It means reaching out with something both meaningful and personalized.
This means using the data you have about that customer to keep them updated on the things they care about and avoid sending them things they do not care about. Don’t bore or pester them, but keep in touch and let them know they matter to you and your business.
What a Customer Wants
Also if you have been in a long-term relationship, you know that one of the top relationship skills is listening, but it is more than just hearing what someone says. It is about acting on the things that matter to them and responding to what they want.
Your customers are no different. When it comes to your products and services, there are things they want from you, and it is highly likely they have already communicated those wants to you through the purchases they have and have not made or even through direct feedback.
Even if they haven’t, if you are staying in touch in a meaningful way, ask them what they want. Then if it is possible, provide it to them. If it is not possible, try to find another creative solution, even if it means they use another product in addition to yours. Your customer will remember and remain loyal to you for life.
Let’s Get Personal
You’ve been keeping in touch and listening to what the customer wants, so you probably already have a lot of data about each customer. You can use this data to make a personal connection. This means more than just information about their business, but about their hobbies and the rest of their lives.
For instance, if your sales team served dinner and the customer chose a vegan option, you know that offering them a steak would be a poor idea. You might know if they are a parent, where they took their last vacation and a lot of other information that makes it easy to personalize your relationship.
Be careful here. There is a certain creepy factor to this personalization. It is a balance, but the idea is like in any other relationship. Get to know your customer, their likes and dislikes, and build a genuine, meaningful connection with them. Your CRM helps with your memory of those details.
What a Customer Wants
You know what your customer needs, but what do they want? What features of your product or service would they consider perks, and what luxury items can you offer to create added value.
Think of the car you drive. Essentially a much less expensive car would get you back and forth to work if that was your only goal. However, you probably selected that car for the extra features it offers, like heated seats and a backup camera, things you could potentially live without.
Your CRM lets you determine what your customers really want instead of what you think they want. Again, you make data-driven determinations that make your product or service better.
Whether a customer has a complaint, a compliment, or a concern, they want your attention. The thing is, without a CRM system, it is relatively easy to lose track of one or more customer interactions, potentially making them think their concerns are unheard.
Today’s customers like to be contacted online about issues, and a CRM lets you track and respond to their queries, and even gives you insight into what has already been done for them, and what more you might have to offer.
A good CRM also enables you to respond quickly, whether on social media, chat, email, or even by phone, heading off a potentially bad review. Customers like to be contacted within an hour to resolve issues, and longer than that increases the chances they will not only be dissatisfied but give you negative feedback. A CRM can help prevent all of that.
Adapting as Needs and Wants Change
Lastly, just as your business is not a static one, and your relationships are not static either, the same is true of your customers. Their business is growing and changing as well, and you need to adapt what you offer as their needs and wants change.
How do you keep track of all of that? In your CRM. The data you gather is important, but so is the analysis of that data, and its application to each situation.
Ready to get started with a CRM or have questions? Contact us here at SixtySixTenfor more information and a free consultation. Your business is different than any other one, and our individualized solutions will help you meet your customer’s needs and wants, putting the relationship back in your customer relationship management system.
About The Author: Marawan Aziz
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