Friday, August 2, 2013

CRM, Marketing and Your Business

The term customer relationship management gets thrown around a lot in business and marketing circles, but is it something you should spend your time and energy on? If you like having loyal, satisfied customers, not to mention drawing in new customers, (and who doesn’t?) you should absolutely devote some of your resources to CRM.

On the technical side, CRM boils down to creating a kind of profile of existing and prospective customers by collating and aggregating a range of data, such as contact and purchase history, to provide a current picture of the customer. This gives staff at the business better insight when assisting customers and enables the development of customer-specific solutions. High-quality CRM systems also include contact scheduling features that remind you to follow up or automate some types of follow up.

This is where CRM and marketing meet. At heart, marketing strives to create a relationship between customers and a business, product or brand. The initial marketing relationship is the one that gets customers into the store or shopping on a website. Maybe the initial contact aims for nothing more than getting someone to sign up for a newsletter or free information product. CRM is a direct extension of that initial marketing relationship.

Follow up emails, newsletters or direct mail all serve to remind the customer about their relationship with the business. The more relevant and helpful the content of those contacts, the more the customer will come to view the business as worthy of trust. For the vast majority of businesses, customer loyalty is inextricably linked to customer trust.

After all, how loyal do you feel to a mechanic you don’t trust or a website that burned you on an order? Now think about the businesses you’re happy to pay at premium prices just because you know you won’t get ripped off. Those businesses, though repeated contact and transactions, proved themselves to you. That is all part of CMR and it’s good for the bottom line.

Of course, follow up contact is where many businesses struggle. Even with the automation built into CRM systems, some of that follow up contact requires a human being to make decisions, write copy, get flyers or sales letter printed and see to it they get in the mail. Tier3 Marketing brings years of experience to helping businesses deliver the follow up contact that secures customer trust and loyalty.

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