The customer relationship marketing definition isn’t absolutely clear from its name. A simple explanation is therefore in order before we proceed with its benefits and what strategies could be applied. Customer relationship marketing is a process in which businesses work to build strong relationships with their customers with the aim of earning customer loyalty. Various marketing strategies and actions are used to achieve this.
Benefits of Customer Relationship Marketing
Business strategists who haven’t yet implemented customer relationship marketing strategies may wonder what the point of selling to people who are already enjoying the results of a purchase may be. Surely, they reason, customers who were satisfied with their purchase will return anyway.
But consumers have short memories, so maintaining the relationship takes a little work. In addition, it may be possible to prompt them to make additional purchases – some may just need a little nudge in the right direction. And, of course, building positive relationships means they’re less likely to transfer their business elsewhere.
An already-satisfied customer can equate to money in the bank – and it’s a lot more cost-effective to market to the converted. Consider your sales funnel. It begins with awareness – and generating that can be a costly marketing process on its own. A customer who has already supported your business has already gone through the sales funnel at least once before. If they were satisfied with the results of that process, it’s much easier to guide them through it again.
Besides getting repeat purchases, you should consider the possibility of referrals. If your business is the one your customers think of first in relation to what you do, they’re likely to tell friends and family members who might benefit from your goods or services. Staying uppermost in their minds means building that relationship.
Levels of Customer Customer Relationship Marketing Strategies
Before you begin strategising, consider what level of customer relationship marketing is appropriate for your business.
Basic marketing limits the relationship to the process of finalising a transaction. If all goes well, your customers might return of their own accord. Basic marketing is getting rarer. For example, your local supermarket may have used basic marketing in the past, but with the rise of loyalty programs, we’re seeing more follow-up occurring.
Reactive marketing invites feedback post-purchase and reacts to inbound information. However, it may not include further interactions with customers who react.
Accountable marketing, on the other hand, involves outreach and two-way communication. The outreach could be an invitation for comment, or it could involve contacting customers about needs your business already knows about.
Proactive marketing means staying in touch with past customers on a regular (but not too regular) basis. Tailoring content based on customer profiles can help to keep it relevant. For example, you could inform them about new products that may interest them or let them know about special offers for products on their wishlist.
Partnership marketing could mean involving other businesses in a mutually beneficial relationship that serves customer needs. For example, a software company could partner with a hardware company. It can also mean partnering with your customers to develop new products or to guide product strategies. Both of these approaches can help to strengthen customer relationships.
Customer Relationship Tools and Tips
Building customer relationships in marketing is a delicate process. Overdo it, and customers will see you as just another annoying seller who won’t let go. Fail to do enough, and you become forgettable. To make customer relationship marketing work for you, a strategic approach is key. The following elements can all make a contribution.
You’re right! Everyone knows when they’ve received an automated message – but it does help you to stay on top of things and it ensures your messaging is consistent. It also buys you a little time when you need to look into a customer query before responding and acknowledges receipt of customers’ messages.
In addition, automated messages can be helpful to customers. For example, an automated message thanking a customer for their purchase can also include information that may be of interest to them such as shipping dates and who they can contact if they have any further questions.
Your business generates a lot of data that points toward things you need to know – provided it is analysed and presents you with useful conclusions. Use analytics to find out what you’re doing right and should do more of, and whether your customers have pain points in common. Staying on top of your data can help you to address issues that have just begun to surface instead of waiting for them to become huge problems that affect everyone: but that’s not all.
Wondering how effective your Customer relationship marketing activities are? Your analytics have the answers. Whatever actions you apply to customer relationship marketing, analytics are the key to knowing whether they work for you and your customers.
Stay on Top of Customer Feedback: Interact Across All Channels
Whether they’re sending you a complaint or a compliment, your customers need to know that you’re listening to them. Without the right technology, staying on top of customer feedback and responding to it can be a tough call. The messages can come from just about any quarter. It could be a post on a review platform, or it could appear on any one of the many social media platforms your customers use. And then there are email, chat, and voice calls to consider too.
Time is of the essence. Wherever your customers are, you need to be there too, and you need to respond quickly. And since they can say anything they please, automated responses simply won’t do. The solution here is a combination of the right technology and people with the ability to improvise appropriate and empathetic responses. Since your analytics can’t really reflect what’s going on without data, they must also report reliably – and once again, you’ll need software to monitor the nature of interactions and what the results were.
Relationships Built Through Human Interaction are the Strongest – How to Make it Happen
Your automated emails are beautifully crafted. Your offers are carefully tailored to customer profiles. You’re getting great click-through rates on your newsletters and awesome responses to your campaigns. You have hoards of satisfied customers. But there’s still something missing from the relationship: the human element.
It’s the truly personalised, one-on-one interactions that really stick in people’s memories: the rapid and personal response to a social media post; the voice on the telephone; the customer service agent who responded to your mail. If there’s one thing that really shapes a relationship, it’s communication between real people.
But where can you find people who will offer a 24/7, high-quality contribution to your customer relationship marketing efforts? You need representation by people who are articulate, empathetic, and creative. They must be able to think on their feet, and they must care about both your customers and your business. In short, you can’t entrust customer relationships to just anyone.
RSVP has the solutions! Have you ever noticed how actors can influence audiences? It’s both an art and a craft. Give them a role, and they throw themselves into it. Ask them to portray a persona, and they use their skills to make it a reality. Give them an audience, and they can gauge its reactions to a nicety and guide them at will.
That’s why our London-based omnichannel call centre employs actors. They love the flexible working conditions, and you have access to agents that are equipped with all the necessary interpersonal skills and the technology to keep you in control while they do your business proud. A cut above the rest? We invite you to be the judge of that and we’re confident that we know what your conclusions will be. Going all out on customer relationship marketing? Let RSVP be your voice. Contact us today to find out more about our inbound customer service and support solutions.