The world of commerce is in a state of dynamic flux, largely as a result of digital technology advances.
Shoppers today are as likely to spend their money online as in the high street and service providers can cater to customers around the world.
While these changes have opened up more business opportunities, they have also created a power shift in the buyer/supplier relationship. With buyers now possessing most of the power, service has become as important to brand success as product quality and value for money.
How CRM Aids Service Differentiation
As technology has brought about this chance in commercial landscape, so it has also become instrumental in solving the problems of service providers and product vendors. CRM (customer relationship management) software for example, is now a popular tool for facilitating the service levels today’s buyers expect.
In case you haven’t yet invested in a CRM solution for your business, here are three good reasons why you shouldn’t hang about, especially if you want service to differentiate you from your competitors.
1) Keep your loyal customers in the loop: Only so many first-time purchasers will become repeat customers and fewer of those will reach the point where you can refer to them as “loyal”. With all your customers’ data stored centrally in your CRM solution though, you can take advantage of regular (and typically automated) communication to encourage repeat business and customer loyalty.
Whether it’s the occasional offer of a free e-book or report or a deep discount on a popular product or service, reaching out regularly will help with customer retention. CRM turns such activity into an easily manageable exercise.
2) Personalize your customer service: Everybody likes to feel valued as a customer, especially those that do return to a vendor or provider after a first time purchase. A CRM application makes it easy to capture all the small details about your customers; the type of details that give you the power of personalization.
For example, knowing that Miss Palmer has become Mrs. Stephenson enables all staff to address your newly-wed customer appropriately; even those who haven’t personally dealt with miss, sorry, Mrs. Stephenson before. That’s personalization—and it does make a difference.
3) Hear the voice of the customer: Most CRM products offer survey features, making it easy to give your customers a voice and gather their feedback. A CRM application lets you send out survey questions via multiple channels and quickly compile returning data. This gives you an opportunity to let your customers lead the direction of your business—as long as you are prepared to act on the feedback you receive.
Other Service Benefits of CRM
In addition to the aforementioned service improvements, a CRM system helps you to manage all customer interactions, from marketing campaigns to sales and after-sales activity like query or complaint resolution. Of course the time will come when the vast majority of businesses will have the benefits of CRM, but for now, investment in a good CRM solution will help you get ahead in the race for customer hearts and minds.
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