Customer service is a top priority for brands in today’s customer-centric world where “Customer is king” can no more be brushed aside as just another cliché. Customers are far more empowered today and the balance of power is surely shifting from the seller to the buyer. The competition is so fierce that not paying due attention to customers means within no time they can jump ship and go to your competitors.
Customer service is thus critical and doing it the right way makes all the difference between running a successful brand and a mediocre brand. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can bring in the much-needed ability to service customers and keep them coming back for more. Customer relationship management is a set of practices, tools and strategies implemented by organizations to understand, manage and analyze customer engagement and expectations using the right set of data. CRM attempts to improve the relationships that brands have with their customers in order to drive future sales and create brand advocates in the process.
Deploying CRM beyond lead management and sales
It’s the sign of the changing times. CRM tools have long been used for lead management and sales enablement. But today the exigencies of doing business in a fast-paced world means customer service needs to be given due recognition. It is possible to benefit from CRM in order to provide a sterling customer service experience regardless of the industry vertical or being part of the B2B and B2C domains.
1. Building the perfect rapport
It has been proven beyond doubt that acquiring new customers is six to seven times more expensive than retaining existing customers. Hence having a great relationship with the existing customers is paramount. It is necessary to create the right strategy to foster a long-term relationship with the existing customers based on mutual trust.
Communicating with your customers need not only be during times when they are facing some issues or have queries to be resolved. Communication can happen at all times and CRM can help to provide the right content, information, update to an existing customer so that it helps him/her make a conscious buying decision.
2. Developing deep insights
Gathering insights about customers is equally important at the later stages as it is at the top of the sales funnel stage of the customer. In today’s world customer information and data could be dynamic and you need to be on top of it at all times. It could be change of address, contact number, email and so on which needs to be updated on a regular basis. All this makes a huge difference on how you interact and connect with the customers.
Gaining further data about customers’ interests, recent buying history, future need for a certain product or service can all be easily collated and stored in the right database. Then as the situation demands he/she can be provided with the right customer service so that they would be delighted to be associated with your brand.
3. Getting the customer’s opinion
It is worth reiterating that the customer’s voice is getting more powerful with each passing day. Today with the all-pervading nature of social media channels it is so much easier for customers to voice their concerns and anxieties about a particular brand or customer experience. Thus it would be a wise move on part of brands to proactively solicit customer opinions through CRM methodologies.
It is always good to know what users think about your brand, the strengths, the weaknesses and how you can rejig your business strategies to better align it with their needs and expectations. It is not enough to just solicit customer response but you should be ready to act upon that feedback in order to show your true commitment to customer empowerment and taking customer relationships forward.
4. Providing a flawless customer experience
What is the point of all that data stored in various databases if it cannot be explored to provide a better customer experience? Brands have realized the potential of this and are deploying all that data for providing top-notch customer experience.
Today’s customers are very assertive when it comes to getting what they want. They are also much smarter and make decisions on the fly. So providing all the information that they need when they are on your website or any other platform is crucial.
Help customers navigate to what they need without a hitch. It is good to use CRM data in order to find out what the customers are expecting and then customizing your webpage to reflect that specific personalization change would be a great way to keep customers happy.
CRM data can also help organizations to zero in on high value customers so that special attention can be showered on them via loyalty programs, specific recommendations and such other bespoke experiences in order to ensure a great customer service at all times.
Key Takeaway: Customer service is no more an afterthought for today’s progressive organizations. The contours of customer service need to be defined well in advance so that there isn’t a rude awakening later. Also it fits right into the business’s ultimate goals and objectives by helping to improve the bottom line. CRM tools, techniques and data can be effectively channelized to provide great customer service and overall better business management for the brand.