At the end of the day, successful businesses are successful because they make their clients’ lives better. This is obviously something that can be accomplished in a variety of ways with a variety of tools, according to the business model of the company, but perhaps among the most readily available and technologically friendly way to achieve this macro-objective is through the implementation of Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM).
CRMs are digital tools that allow businesses to streamline their marketing and engagement efforts with current and prospective customers. Principally, the idea behind the CRM is to provide a company with a centralized portal to share a variety of useful content and information (articles, promotions, social media updates, sales updates, current events) that customers will find interesting and helpful.
However, while the content disseminated through the CRM is obviously important, the strength of the CRM is in its organizational capacity which enables a business owner to create a coherent and consistent messaging platform to build and maintain its brand identity.
A Strong CRM Strategy Will Increase Customer Retention
It is no secret that while businesses must strive to secure new clients, it is equally important not to lose old ones. How can a company ensure that it keeps its original client base? By making sure the company and its brand are unforgettable. Therefore, companies should strive to develop a content strategy that is trackable for each prospective client by doing the following:
- Designate a master CRM manager to set up initial the initial content campaigns
- Identify content-vertices for each existing and prospective client that is interesting and compelling
- Personalize the messaging of each piece of content syndicated to each respective existing and prospective client
- Track the viewing and response rates (however you define it) for each piece of syndicated content
Finally, learn from the data that is obtained from the promulgation of your CRM strategy. Do some of your customers love learning about developments in technology? Keep sending content focused on Tech? Do these same clients seem to immediately delete any emails with subject lines alluding to political developments? Don’t send them articles on politics!
The key here is not to become lazy and complacent with the customer-learning program that your CRM has hopefully achieved and actualize this information with personalized email and newsletter drip campaigns. Customer data is everything and should continuously drive strategic decisions in how your company interfaces with present and future clients.
Customers are Fickle and Must be Continuously Entertained
The old saying, “What have you done for me lately?” is undoubtedly cynical but is also a remarkably important reminder of the transactional relationship between customers and businesses. In any given industry, the customer has a seemingly endless number of choices of who to give their business to.
Why? The rise of the internet and globalization has driven prices down and increased the number of competing vendors. Customers regularly share product and brand information on various platforms and can move on to bigger and better options; People are simply better equipped to make more nuanced and better curated, purchasing decisions. Thus the need for businesses to stay active and salient.
Are you active on Instagram? Linkedin? Facebook? Do you maintain an active blog with interesting current events? Share your social media presence with your customers and let them know that you are engaged with the world and are attentive to emerging trends in their business sector. Don’t let your customers forget about you and they won’t.
How to Use CRM Technology to Increase Brand Loyalty
By using a CRM solution, you can create a data-rich environment of customer engagement and manage and track this data to inform future content-engagement. This information can be analyzed and actionalized to support a definitive business strategy that will ensure long-term growth while increasing your brand’s value.
Your objective must be to continuously align your branding message with the interests and needs of your customers. Brands are built by forging relationships based on shared values and goals. Whichever CRM tool you use to develop, disseminate, and track your content carefully; brand-incongruencies with your target audience will lead to stagnation and ultimately the dreaded, “unsubscribe.”
Specific CRM Tools and Features to Be Aware of
With respect to customer retention and increasing your brand’s influence, a powerful CRM can help you determine:
- The length of time a customer has visited your website without taking action
- The products and services purchased by customers
- The products and services not purchased by customers
- The frequency with which customers make purchases
- The time of year most conducive or least conducive for sales
- The type of digital content most likely to lead to sales
The purpose of understanding and utilizing these specific features and focus points is to better understand the “Buying Journey” of your customer. Undoubtedly, the sophistication and price of your product/service will dictate the extent to which the existing customer and/or new customer will need to interface with a live salesperson however as a general matter, it’s eminently important to understand the buying lifecycle of your customer.
Does your prospective customer, statistically, need to be sent 3 emails marketing your specific product before they will purchase it? Perhaps 4 follow up emails is the magic number? This is information you must know in order to run a sustainable business that can be consistently relied upon to provide results. Drill into this data. Different customers in different business verticals will have different buying patterns and it is crucial that each buying pattern is properly dissected and managed.
Create Email Campaigns
Humans are creatures of habits and the fact that modern human likes to check his email first thing every morning is an opportunity that ambitious companies should not ignore.
By using CRM software to perform a targeted email marketing campaign, you can send email newsletters to specific customer groups. Your niche customers will learn more about your brand’s products/services and hopefully, read about interesting stories and developments that will further endear them to your company.
Reinforce Customer Relationships
CRMs not only allow a business to showcase its products/services but provide a means to develop and structure a brand identity. Create a meaningful story about your business and support it with content that is disseminated according to a structured program by using your CRM.
Remember: your objective as a business owner is not simply to sell individual goods but to increase your brand’s value over time. Use CRM software to better understand your current and future leads so you can refine your marketing approach and reinforce your customer relationships. Obsessively and rigorously track all areas of customer management, including your sales and marketing services to ensure your big-picture, brand message remains true and consistent.
Incorporate a CRM Into a Larger Marketing Strategy
While you cannot use CRM as a standalone tool, a well-oiled CRM driven marketing system will allow you to better manage present and future clients. CRM should be thought of as a vehicle to, of course, manage sales opportunities, however, more importantly, a medium to develop and disseminate content that reinforces your brand identity and cements your business as the go-to vendor for your clients’ needs.