Customer Relationship Management is Vital to Business Success

            Manufacturing, developing, and selling a product or service that people need and wish to buy is just one small part of overall business success. A larger and, some would say, more important component of an enterprise’s long-term survival involves assessing and managing relationships with consumers and customers.

            Customer insight centers on answering the following questions:

  • What do customers think?
  • What do they ultimately value?
  • Where do they go to make their choices?
  • What will keep them satisfied and coming back for more?
  • Where are they in the customer journey and what can the organization do to facilitate the process?
  • What other goods or services can the customer benefit from in the organization?

            Successful businesses make it a high priority to gather knowledge and relevant facts about purchasers even before they enter into a monetary transaction. These organizations do so because they know that getting close to the customer, and directly serving their needs, will go a long way towards securing long term profitability.

Identify and Profile Customers

            While it may not always be possible to compile detailed information relative to each customer, there are definite ways to learn about customers and their purchasing behavior.

            To more accurately serve the needs of customers, companies need precise knowledge about end-users. Different types of businesses may benefit from having a different profiling structure, but for the most part the early findings should include uniquely identifiable factors such as gender, age, marital status, household income, product preferences and buying frequency.

Database and Customer Insight

            A historical customer database should contain details about previous purchases and, possibly, information about recent purchases (a new home, a new car, a baby crib). This is the kind of data marketers can use to conduct tailored and efficient sales efforts to satisfy and infer a customer’s ongoing needs.

            Other than through a database, useful consumer insight may be obtained through the following mechanisms:

  • User feedback questionnaires and customer response surveys
  • Sweepstakes offers and contests (where certain information must be supplied to enter)
  • Focus group discussions
  • Market research and trend analysis studies
  • Social media network sites and blogs

            The ultimate goal of customer insight is to enhance customer satisfaction, improve market share, and increase sales.

Customer Relationship Management 101

            Putting the customer first is a sure-fire way to maintain an advantage over the competition. Ask anyone and they will assert that a major reason they return again and again to a certain company or make repeated purchases from the same business is because of the excellent service they receive.

            The relationship a customer has with a particular business needs to be managed and handled proactively. For marketers and direct sellers, this means treating customer relationship management, or CRM, as the cornerstone of good business.

Implement CRM Action Plans

            Careful analysis of data and customer feedback gives companies the ability to formulate a workable CRM action plan. Findings can be used to better identify areas where the customer has been dissatisfied or instances where customer service has failed.

            To be successful, CRM action plans should engage the consumer and give an opportunity for feedback. After which, organizations can better manage the relationship and find ways to satisfy the customer. This can be done with a follow-up phone call, discount offers, or by upgrading previously purchased items at little or no additional cost to the buyer.

Provide Employees with the Necessary Tools

            No matter how much work is done in the early stages, without providing employees with the relevant trainings, processes, and tools, it is nigh impossible to succeed. GPetrium has created a list of insights and solutions that can help facilitate the process:

    The Internet as a Customer Management Tool

                A growing number of companies use the expedience of the internet to get closer to customers. Social media networks, member sites, blogs, and comments left by visitors to corporate websites provide instant feedback and useful insight for customer relationship management.

    The Goal of CRM

                The end goal of active customer relationship management is to positively nurture the consumer-provider relationship over time, inspire continued customer satisfaction, and spur on future transactions.

                Assessing customer needs and creating a dedicated CRM program for learning what they think and what they want can strengthen customer retention efforts and foster improved consumer-seller relationships over many years to come.

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