“If our customers are not happy, we will go hungry” – This is the first thing our CEO has set for us to see when we log into the team collaboration platform of ShoutOUT Labs. Well, that sentence says it all, doesn’t it?
Angry, disappointed customers? Not even in dreams!
In any business, it is vital that all the customers are content with the service/product we deliver. And this contentment has to be there in each and every step that precedes and follows the time of purchase, not just during it. This is why all of us use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. (If you don’t already, well you’re a bit late. But don’t worry, catch it up all with ShoutOUT).
Let’s list out a few things that CRM platforms are generally used for:
- Collecting and managing customer and lead data
- Storing and managing sales data
- Analyzing customer behaviour
Well, yeah we do use CRM platforms for these but THIS IS NOT GOING TO BRING A SMILE ON YOUR CUSTOMERS’ FACES. And that is exactly why, it is estimated that 43% of businesses that utilize CRM are failing to use even half of their CRM systems correctly.
What is missing?
There’s more to CRM platforms. It’s not there just for storing customer profiles but for talking and listening to people – because customers are also people. You can use your CRM platform for all the above stuff but make sure that from now on you add the following to the list.
First and foremost, always, always remember it is PEOPLE (like you and your friend) that come to you as customers. Treat them like you would treat a new friend you just met, get to know their name and call them by it, make them feel home in your company (see what I did there? 😉). CRM is just like building, nurturing, and growing a friendship, only that it is harder when the friendship is between the business and the customer.
You, as a business, can’t have all those all night long talks, go to the movies, or live in the same house with your customers and get to know each other better, in order to build the kind of friendship that I’m talking about here. And that’s when you have to alter the ways in which you use your CRM tool, that being the easiest and fastest path to build that friendship with your customers.
1. What do you do with the customer data you have stored in your CRM tool? If they’re taking your space, you might as well put them in for a profitable cause. Use your CRM tool to categorize those data and make groups according to similarities in gender, religion, ethnicity, geographical areas, age, job, buyer behaviour etc. Why? Check out the next point.
2. Such well-managed data come handy in sending out promotional SMS/email campaigns. Use an all-in-one CRM tool that lets you send the relevant campaign to the relevant type of customer. If you have a promotion in your Kandy branch, send the campaigns only to the customers and leads in your “Kandy” customer segment. Save your money, get more effective results.
3. However, make sure that you send the SMS/email campaigns the right way. All of us convey through our campaigns and all those Facebook Ads that we are the best. Well, live up to that image you promise. Please don’t sound like a lieutenant commanding a soldier, be friendly and casual in communicating with them. Send your SMS/emails like you would to your friend. That age of the mechanical-sounding SMS is gone.
4. And, just as much as you send out SMS/email campaigns and make your customers read them, read what they have to say to you too. That’s how a friendship grows. Listen! Read their comments on your social media posts and respond to them, reply to their emails. Show that their presence and opinions are valued at every single turn. You don’t have to go around looking for all the comments or emails, your CRM tool makes this easier by bringing all these communications to one place, use it!
5. Finally, how would you feel if your friend doesn’t respond to your SMS when you have an issue and need to talk to him/her? As I said, you have to be there even after the purchase is done. Fix problems immediately, you can’t take two days to respond, and most importantly, your customers can’t (and shouldn’t) try for two or three days to get in touch with you. You have to use a CRM tool that lets your customers reach you easily and instantly, like through chats or a simple text message. When you manage such fast communication with them, they build trust in your business and with time their loyalty grows too.
All this depends on how you use your CRM tool. CRM is not just about collecting and storing customer data and sales data.
CRM is about all these plus managing a relationship with your customer which is a friendship. Work for building a strong friendship with your customers, use the right CRM tool for that, use it right.
(If you were wondering what CRM tool would let you do all the stuff mentioned above, you wouldn’t find anything better than ShoutOUT )