It’s one thing to have a database full of customers, but it’s another thing to have a database full of customers who actually like you.
Successful customer relationship management is all about getting to know your customers and creating a personal relationship with them that goes beyond a few Twitter promotions.
The idea is to make your customers want your product because you sell it, and not simply because they need it. This kind of brand loyalty goes a long way and it’s definitely something that you have to invest sufficient time and resources into building. Once you’ve built that kind of community around your business, you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.
If you’re still in the ‘dating’ phase of your customer relationship development, that’s perfectly fine - as long as you’re on the right track.
Here are 10 ways to know that you’re doing it right.
1. You Know How To K.I.S.S
‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’. If you know how to do this, then you’re well on the road to CRM success. Many smaller companies get carried away with their first CRM system and end up choosing a tool with a ton of unnecessary features. Talk to your team first and figure out what you actually need from your CRM, before choosing one based on what you think you need instead.
Once your CRM is up and running with the least possible hassle, you’ll have much more time to dedicate to your customers. I recently wrote a post that will help you to avoid the 10 most common pitfalls when choosing a CRM, check it out here.
2. You Understand The Importance Of Birthdays
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always nice to get an unexpected ‘happy birthday’ on the big day. This is a tiny piece of information that you can easily obtain from your customers when they sign up, but it’ll have a huge impact on the status of your relationship. A quick ‘happy birthday’ email or birthday discount will really add a personal touch to your communications.
3. You Provide Your Customers With Quality Content
If you want your customers to trust you then you have to provide them with knowledgeable and credible information. It’s important to show that you have an in-depth understanding of your industry and all of your content (blog/social media) should be created to meet the specific needs of your target audience.
4. You’re Psychic
Well, not exactly, but you do know what your customers want before they contact you directly. How? You simply gaze into your crystal ball/computer screen and do some social media monitoring with a handy tool like Social Mention or Hootsuite.
This is the best way to find out what your customers are saying in real-time; to collect valuable insights into market trends; and to get involved in online conversations about your business.
Also, if an issue does present itself (i.e. an unhappy customer on Twitter), you can nip it in the bud before it escalates and use that info to improve your offering overall.
5. You Care About Your Customers
If you want your customer relationship management to work, then you have to work at it - and this means listening to what your customers needs and fulfilling those needs. What it doesn’t mean, is bombarding them with irrelevant sales pitches and promotions every day of the week.
As great as you think your product/service is, it’s useless if it’s not useful to your customers.
Interact with your target audience, listen to them, and make them feel valued. What are their pain points? What challenges are they facing? What do they need from you in order to overcome those challenges?
If you work on really understanding your customers, it will make all of the difference when it comes to selling your product - because you’ll be armed with the information to ensure that it meets their expectations from the outset.
6. You Never Compete On Price
A sale achieved by competing on price is always a short term win. Your customer won’t see the true value in your product/service and will jump straight to the next lowest bidder.
If you really feel that your pricing is alienating some of your customers, then you can think about providing another version of your product/service with less features. This is the only advisable method to reduce your pricing. Never compete on price - it just doesn’t work.
7. You’re Different
You need to be able to vocalize the benefits of your product or service to your customers. It’s not just about what your product/service does, it’s about what it will do for them. This is the part where you really need to blow them away and set yourself apart from your competitors.
8. You Say Thank You
Sure, it’s the polite thing to do - but it’s also the profitable thing to do. Customer loyalty programs are a proven way to retain and grow your business; in fact, 62% of Millennials say they’re essential.
By rewarding your customers for their support, you’ll also improve and solidify your relationship with them in the long run.
9. You’re Consistent
Consistency is key when it comes to managing customer relationships; your customers need to know what to expect from you and it’s your job to set those parameters.
For example, if you’re firing out 3 newsletters one week and none the next - then you’re not being consistent. It’s important not to spam your customers but it’s also important to communicate with them on a regular basis.
10. You Keep Your Promises
If you say you’re going to resolve a situation within a certain time period, then do it. If you say you’re going to call a customer back within a certain time period, then do that also. It’s crucial to follow through on any commitments you make to your customers if you want to gain their loyalty, trust, and business for the long haul.
Treat Your Customers The Way You’d Like To Be Treated
The most important thing to remember is that your customers are real people and they have specific wants and needs that they expect you to fulfil. If you can do this, then you’ll build customer relationships that last a lifetime - or at least until you retire and move to Barbados.
Do you have anything you’d like to add to the CRM tips above? Why not share them with us in the comments section below.