In any business, the customer should always be front, back and center to a company’s entire reason for being. If you adopt this mindset you are bound to keep your customers and attract even more as you will continuously delight them with ever more ways to cater to their needs and demands.
This is easier said than done however, and made much more difficult because of the fact that your competitors are actually thinking about doing the same things at this very moment in their attempt to outmaneuver you as well.
Are there any tools out there that can help you get a step ahead of the competition? If you are dealing with a product or service which is not that much differentiated from your competition, how you treat and handle your customers will be the difference between you taking the bigger slice of the pie or if you will just settle for the crumbs of others.
In this regard, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can be that all-important tool to get you ahead of your competition by focusing on the things that will matter and delight your customers. What makes it great is you just have to take an honest look at your company and sincerely think about ways for you to satisfy and delight your customers every step of the way instead of being paranoid and constantly looking over your shoulders to check out what competition is doing and trying to react by copying what it is that they are doing every now and then.
Every customer is different. In this regard, companies must acknowledge that customers’ needs are unique and different from one another and cannot be treated with a wholesale approach to selling their products and services. Treating customers on a per individual basis, complete with their individual needs and peculiarities, is at the very heart of a proper CRM campaign. In this way, customers will be delighted and will lead to repeat business and advocacy – as they will be compelled to tell their friends and relatives of their delightful experience with your company.
With CRM software, your company will have a unified view of the customer’s behavior (from his buying patterns, lifetime value to your business, churn likelihood, and others) which leads to a more effective and efficient customer management. With CRM software program in place it may even be possible to compute the profitability on a per customer basis.
CRM encourages the “relationship marketing” approach to selling with the overall view and appreciation of the repeat business and the lifetime potential business that each customer can generate through nurturing a long and lasting relationship with the customer, rather than sticking with the age-old outdated approach of selling as a single step which is rather short-sighted.
Customer Relationship Management or “relationship marketing” entails the introduction of technology, adoption of a new company culture, or streamlining of some company processes and procedures on a continuous basis. Other tools that may be needed for its implementation are the use of media, newsletters, and mails, keeping an updated and thorough database, and finally a CRM software system.
Jacob Jackson works for one of the leading developers of online CRM – WebCRM. He also blogs a lot about this topic at the official WebCRM Blog.