Customer relationship management (CRM), also known as customer experience management (CEM) is big business, and can appear complicated, but is it?
"A Retailer's Perspective - Customer Relationship Management" contains some road tested tips which could help you increase your repeat business in these challenging times.
1. Ditch The Jargon
When CEM/CRM professionals use phrases like “insight-powered customer experience management”, they’re talking about customer service.
There are lots of ways you can use CRM/CEM platforms to give clients and prospects a reason to talk to you, it’s how you handle that interaction that will either strengthen or strangle your business.
2. Think More About Your Clients
Judging a prospective client on appearance or browsing habits is far too common among sales professionals. Good customers come from a far broader cross section of society than was the case 20 years ago. Give everyone your best attention regardless of your initial judgement.
If you’re looking for a contemporary approach, personality profiles can help improve your client’s experience. James Blute’s excellent article "Sales Psychology" can be a really useful tool when communicating this concept to your team.
You might encourage your teams to name the categories after customers who match the personality type. Challenge them to profile each person they deal with. In doing so you’ll encourage them to understand the need to adjust their approach with the different character types.
3. Be Accessible
Some clients may not want to talk to you at all. For those that do make it easy for them, whether that’s in person, through social media, telephone, or email. You don’t need to devote huge resources to social media, the tech isn’t the important bit.
The important bit is the individual sitting behind the tech responding to the queries. Have a presence everywhere and respond promptly to any communication you receive. In case you are wondering, an FAQ’s page is not an acceptable substitute.
Don’t go to all this effort and then ignore the feedback you get. You’re trying to build relationships with your customers, listening is as important in nurturing these relationships as it is in all other aspects our lives.
What can you learn from an individual’s previous purchases or enquiries? Do you have an idea what they’re going to be interested in next?
If your client feels that you’re tailoring communications to their preferences and behaviour, the likelihood that they will become loyal supporters of your company increases significantly. The reverse is also true.
5. Satisfaction vs Loyalty
Customer satisfaction is not where your journey ends, it’s more an important step towards the holy grail of loyalty. Loyal customers will return, they are advocates and drivers of your business. Their loyalty is a function of the added value your company delivers with each interaction.
Opportunities to add value will vary from business to business, at Watchfinder our commitment to solve any watch related issue helps us build that emotional connection to the client. This may involve research, accepting watches in part exchange, sourcing items not held in stock, referring clients to other companies, hand delivering items or a flexible after sales policy, the list goes on.
In essence it’s whatever makes the clients life easier. Repeat business currently accounts for 30% of Watchfinder’s total sales, the average ticket price is £2900 ($4500).
6. Complacency Will Kill Your Business
Do your customers know you want to see them again and again? Make sure your clients know they are welcome to return and that they understand how you can help beyond this transaction. Track the frequency with which they return and the motivation.
There are lots of ways you can encourage your clients to interact with you, make it an easy decision, don’t wait for them to walk through the door. Find out what they liked/disliked about the experience and act on the feedback where appropriate.
If these observations seem like common sense, it’s because they are.
Having started a business 10 years ago selling expensive watches online, customer service has always been critical to the development of Watchfinder. This focus has prepared the company well for the challenging environment all retailers face today.
In the last 20 years there has been a fundamental shift in power away from the retailer towards the consumer. Fifteen years of good times have disguised this effect, but today consumers are thinking more about how and where they spend their money. Retailers therefore need to work harder and smarter to first earn and then retain the support of their clients. Those that don’t, face an uncertain future.