2 min read

Building Customer Relationships: Are You Doing it Well? Checklist

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We all are B2C customers with our own set of expectation about vendor’s business processes. We don’t tolerate ‘hiccups’ well unless the particular company happens to be our preferred provider.

When it comes to the B2B market, this is somewhat similar but a lot more complicated. The stakes are much higher, and the higher rationality of B2B relationships is a double-edged sword: customers are more reasonable but it also takes plenty more effort to persuade them.

So how is your company doing when it comes to success in building customer relationships? Look at our quick checklist below and assess if the following statements apply to your own business:

We act up because we realise the person dealing with us is risking their career and the whole company is risking their reputation – for us. We do everything so they look great in front of their customers.
We know we’re the experts and our customers look for solutions, not products. That means we keep improving our product and/or service based on previous feedback so the clients have increasing confidence in our abilities.
We keep the quality of our service consistently reliable rather than over-delivering in some tasks and failing in the others.
We sometimes act selflessly: we act humble and human because we know people buy from real people and this boosts our chances to get recommended.
We treat our customers as individuals: before and after the sale. We target our campaigns specifically to them and we use a single business funnel for each customer.
We understand our customers’ business and environment: we know what troubles them and why they came looking for us. It’s about them, not about us.
Our sales reps have personal responsibility for their sales: we follow up even after we make the sale.
Our sales reps know all about our product and the competition too.
We deliver unique value: we go the extra mile and deliver more than the client would be able to source or create themselves.

So how did you do today?
There is always room for improvement.

And remember: actions speak louder than words and solely measuring customer satisfaction is not enough. You need to be proactive and deliver what they want before the smile fades away from their faces.

2 min read

How to Measure CRM Effectiveness – Redspire

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How to Measure CRM Effectiveness

Many companies now view customer relationship management (CRM) tools as an important part of their business, because of their huge capabilities. CRM’s are like an extra member of your team – providing reports, analysing and collating data, identifying sales opportunities, automating marketing processes (such as autoresponders, follow up e-mails etc.), plus much more.

They are also, of course, there ultimately to manage your relationships with your customers and potential customers. And one of the major benefits of this part of the software includes keeping all the customer information in one place, with easy access from other parts of your organisation, if needed.

CRM effectiveness and customer service

This means that if a customer has answered questions previously, or has expressed a certain dislike or like of a product or service, this will form part of their profile. Communications can be customer-specific and targeted to the individual, so they are not alienated by receiving non-relevant, ‘spammy’ communications and offers.

It is the seemingly little things like this that make a customer feel valued, and will encourage their loyalty. And increased loyalty means increased revenue.

Tracking CRM effectiveness

But are you making the most of your CRM system? It could be that you are not taking full advantage of what your relationship management software offers. Or, it may need a ‘tweak’ in the sort of rules you set up within it.

So, how can you measure your CRM effectiveness? There are many ways to track and work out just how hard your CRM tool is working for you.

For marketing, look at activity such as:

  • The number of new contacts;
  • The number of opens
  • The numbers of interactions, etc.

For sales, it can be data such as:

  • Sales volume;
  • Additional sales;
  • Cross sales;
  • A tangible increase in revenue that can be directly attributed to your CRM tool etc.

Once you have carried out this exercise, you will be able to see how your CRM tool is helping your business. If you feel it could be doing more for you, or that you are not using it to its full capabilities, then you may benefit from speaking to a specialist for help and guidance.

2 min read

Data Management: Capturing, Storing and Using Data Effectively across Channels

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It is an unfortunate fact of life that many information technology systems, whether customer-facing or back-office, were designed on what is sometimes called a vertical basis.

That can be a serious problem for an organisation, unless CRM (customer relationship management) systems and techniques are implemented to deal with it.

Why is that a problem?

Historically, information technology systems were designed to reflect organisational hierarchies. As these were essentially vertical silos, such as Accounts, Shipping, Customer Service, Procurement and so on, systems were designed to support those functional requirements.

The net result is that information relating to an individual customer, may be scattered across a range of systems that have little in common with each other in terms of design objectives. That information is also typically used fundamentally differently by the owning organisational silos.

This means it is sometimes difficult or even impossible to obtain a single horizontal customer view cut across the organisation as a whole. Those organisations that have one customer with multiple customer numbers are a good illustration of the problems that can arise.

That is sometimes a critical inhibitor to optimal product development, behavioural analysis, cross marketing and customer retention activities. Typically these functions are horizontal in an organisation and not vertical – so they will need integrated data in order to support their objectives.

Modern approaches to data management

Today, enlightened organisations design their processes and supporting systems on a matrix rather than vertical silo basis.

CRM systems and techniques are instrumental in helping to make that happen, for example, by having a single integrated repository of information relating to a customer.

CRM achieves a single customer view, primarily through two things:

  • Making sure that all interactions with the customer, through whatever channels, conform to a single integrated process relating to data storage and eventual use;
  • Being able to integrate information coming in through new customer-facing processes and systems, with that held about the same customer on existing possibly vertical legacy systems (e.g. back office).

The benefits of this to the organisation are potentially staggering.

Not only does it avoid embarrassing and potentially highly-damaging errors in terms of customer engagement but it also provides a fundamental platform for things such as productivity improvements, product development, cross-selling, customer retention and in some cases, customer or market disengagement where things are no longer profitable or viable. What are your insights on customer data management?