As the Information Age has progressed, there is scarcely a facet of our lives that has not been touched by it. Our homes, businesses, cars, how we date, how we buy and sell things. Why should we expect how we interact with our customers to be any different?
Customer contact used to be a simple thing, consisting of three main points of contact: The customer’s name, phone number, and address. (Remember the owner of Kamp Komfort asking for Clark Griswold’s address in “Vacation” because “We like to send out a mailer!”?)
The situation is no longer that simple. Customers today use their (mobile) phones as many view the USPS method as outmoded. They expect contact from people and companies they do business with via email — or perhaps text, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or any of the numerous other options. Maintaining a customer’s information has gone well beyond a 3×5 card, or even a simple database you bought with your suite of office productivity software. What’s a business that wants to keep up with the changing world to do?
Three words; one acronym: Customer Relationship Management (CRM.) CRM software will help your business grow better acquainted with your customers by maintaining and synchronizing information on sales, marketing, customer service and technical support.
The benefits to combining all this information in one place are many. First, businesses can track customer behavior in the past to predict future sales. For instance, a business which sold scented candles might like to know that a segment of their consumer base likes to buy pumpkin-scented candles just before fall begins. If they frequently purchase these in the last week of August, perhaps sending her a 10% off coupon in the middle of August makes sense.
Another benefit is to provide useful information to the consumer when they have interactions with your company. For instance, a young couple might receive a high-end espresso machine as a gift. Going to order the appropriate pods to make espresso, they are concerned about what products are compatible with the type of machine they have. Calling the company’s helpline, the customer service representative can say, “Oh, I see that you have Model XS-482, which takes Caffmeup pods only.”
This leaves the customer with a positive impression of the company in several ways.
Through better communication, targeting and the integration of customer data, businesses are able to understand and interact with their customers in a much more efficient, effective and impressive (to the customer!) way. CRM software is a great way to integrate the customer’s experience and make it much more positive within your market.