- Good customer relationship always adapts to evolving customer needs.
- Effective communication, in clear and consistent messages, usually brings in more sales.
- Effective customer engagement and communication creates more value for CRM systems.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems alone are not enough to build quality customer relationship. Organisations should continuously engage with customers to understand their evolving needs and expectations, and communicate with consistent and relevant messages. Any customer engagement initiative should also leave room for frontline staff to creatively and empathetically interact with customers.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, such as customer relationship analytics and salesforce automation, are some of the popular enterprise systems capturing data and views about customers. However, customer expectations are not static and must be captured on an ongoing basis. CRM systems don’t create customer relationship, but the right customer engagement does.
Capture evolving customer needs
Organisations always think what their customers want most are cost-effective products or services that deliver benefits as promised. However, customers want their needs to be satisfied, oftentimes beyond what those products or services provide. Meeting customer needs and expectations is a prerequisite to building a relationship.
Customers have somewhat predictable needs and expectations, depends on where they are in the customer lifecycle. Early in the lifecycle, customers need simple advice and recommendations, while a need of more personalised offers comes in later stages. These insights enable you to offer a targeted approach to customers, offering them the right kind of information or assistance when they need it. Doing this right helps you retain them. It is often expensive and ineffective if you try to capture and support customer interactions in all stages of the lifecycle.
Actual costs of customer relationship
The actual costs of customer relationship are more than the price per seat of a CRM system. They also include costs of extracting customer-related information from internal systems and channels that are not directly facing customers. The final figure is likely much higher than you think.
Complex customer profiles do not help
One of the largest insurers in the Nordics realised that a customer transaction was more than a process, but an interaction between a person in distress and the service provider. Agents therefore were trained to listen, instead of just following scripts and flows of the CRM system. By capturing information through conversations instead of interrogation, customer satisfaction improved. Information capture was better and call handling time was also reduced.
It’s about communication
Let staff be creative on their own
It is becoming cheaper and faster to collect customer data and analyse their patterns and preferences. These customer insights are only the first step in identifying who can be turned into loyal customers. However, customer loyalty is earned by consistently doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right way. It is less about the ability to configure an attractive offer for customers, or formulate an accurate response.
Unleash the potential of CRM systems
Many organisations have made massive investments in CRM systems. They can capitalise on these investments by adopting the customer perspective and delivering the services that customers value the most. Clear and timely communication also helps create a fantastic customer relationship.