An interesting new piece in The Drum today (Simon Brace - The Real Adventure www.realadventure.co.uk) has highlighted some of the key questions that any company should ask before they engage in a customer relationship management strategy. They are well worth exploring further and provide some real food for thought.
From a CRM point of view in helping smaller businesses achieve success with CRM and social awareness I have added additional thoughts from my own experience.
Is there a high consumer need for information regarding the product?
One key to increasing customer engagement (and therefore requiring a CRM system) is whether the brand or the sector you work in represents areas in which support and information is always needed. To use an example, parenting represents the perfect area for CRM. There is a never-ending supply of first-time parents, eager to build relationships with brands that satisfy their need for both information and relevant products. But CRM is more that an organisation’s database or software component - it is a strategy that is developed over time to support your customers and their needs with the right information about your product. This can relate to many business sectors from energy to financial solutions - or as the article suggest, parents, as babies don’t come with instructions!
Are you in a position to provide answers to customers?
Again, this point falls into the idea of genuinely helping your customers out. It does not have to be based around problem-solving. However, one good example is food companies that build relationships with customers by providing great recipe ideas or by being open to accepting future product ideas. Delia's online cookery school on Waitrose TV is a great example. To take another example Energy companies now actively use Facebook and Twitter to promote energy saving ideas so social interaction is now more important than ever. Some organisations even go further - with product support and dedicated customer service channels being available through social media.
Do you provide a product that people can really feel passionately about?
Another key to relationship building with customers is by creating a product that they will want to build relationships around. For instance, if you are a music store, then CRM could represent a great investment. Musicians really care about their instruments and will likely welcome assistance in everything from tutorials to relevant promotions. Again, a real sense of passion means that customers will want to engage with the brand. Brand awareness and brand loyalty are gained by a number of key factors including “Great Quality of Product”, “Great Customer Care and Interaction” and “Great Customer / Product Awareness” and in a future post I’ll look at some of these areas that can easily help small to medium businesses embrace CRM strategy without breaking the bank.
Does your brand possess the ‘cool factor’?
We are all looking for the next cool thing, but remember what is cool and funky to one is not always representable for all, so it is paramount that as a product provider your organization is in tune with what your customer wants and likes. A good example of this would be when Apple released the iPhone and now at the iPhone 5 version customers still come back for more as it still has a cool factor. This can be emulated across many different products and brands by many different manufacture and service providers. See the top 100 brands here: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/2013/top-100-list-view.aspx. From this list I’ve personally interacted with 23 of the brands either through product purchase or support.
Do you support a cause?
Many of the brands or organizations mentioned above have set causes to support and sponsorship deals in place that help with brand awareness. Organizations like SKY have several renewable projects in place like the “Rainforest Rescue” https://rainforestrescue.sky.com/. But does this work for small organizations that want to support a cause? All organizations and many businesses do support local or national charities and there are several ways of doing so (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/businesses/giving/sponsorship.htm), but aligning your business or brand to a cause or a sponsorship deal needs to be fully thought through - and this comes back to understanding you customer and what their expectations of your brand might be.
Here at MyCRM we opt to support local causes https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151627582429690&set=pb.367480604689.-2207520000.1381487296.&type=3&theater like our sponsorship of a local under 15 football team.
So does this help with a CRM strategy? Well if done correctly then this can help with awareness of your business supporting a good cause.
What’s your consumer worth?
Is that Consumer or Customer? I’d personally like to say Customer but this is a very good question and brings the closing comments back to business. When I first ventured into a sales environment I very quickly worked out that existing and loyal customers had significant value to the business I was working for, and great product and customer service will help with customer loyalty. As mentioned in the article, organizations look to provide additional services to loyal customers and, for example, most of the phone networks are very good at this.
Source: The Drum
MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity
http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects.
http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eWorkflow.aspx Our extended workflow solution set enables organisation to increase productivity through the use of custom workflows.
We also offer through our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/
To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com