Every modern business needs loyal customers and effective brand ambassadors. It doesn’t matter if it’s an established tech manufacturer or the newest restaurant on the block, positive word of mouth can help grow your brand and build your reputation among potential customers.
In the past it wasn’t always easy for businesses to interact in a meaningful way with their customers. Beyond face-to-face interactions and the occasional phone call businesses were limited in their ability to reach out to and interact with customers.
Now those days are long gone. There are dozens of ways for businesses to communicate with and engage their customers to help build relationships and understand customer opinions.
These communications are known as customer relationship management (CRM) and they are crucial to the success of modern brands. Yet CRM – like almost everything else in marketing – is only as effective as you make it. Today we’ll look at five ways to make your CRM as effective as possible.
1. Start the Conversation
Just because people don’t seem to be having real, literal word of mouth conversations as often anymore doesn’t mean that the same rules don’t apply. People are interacting more than ever through social media and the Internet, and it provides the perfect opportunity for brands to foster a positive conversation about their products.
Engage your customers. Discover what they like most about your products and discern what they believe needs improvement. This gives you a chance to bolster what’s working and correct what’s not.
2. Listen to the Squeaky Wheel
When you work on building a product and a brand it can be easy to get tunnel vision and overlook problems. Yet CRM gives brands a chance to interact with their customers – both the satisfied and the unsatisfied.
While everyone loves to hear positive feedback about their brand, it’s actually the unhappy individuals who will be the most valuable as you develop your customer relationships and develop your business. Listen to these squeaky wheels to learn what you could be doing better and allows you to continue constantly improving.
3. Be Forward
CRM is great for communicating with customers, but it still needs to be valuable communication. The key to that effective communication is honesty.
Small businesses set themselves apart from big businesses by their relatability and perceived honesty. Don’t drive away customers by getting caught in a lie, be honest and forthcoming, work with customers and strive to constantly improve your business.
4. Track Customer Interactions
“Tracking” might have a bad name these days, but it is crucial for effective CRM. Track every interaction you have with customers – from emails to meetings to website hits – in order to stay in touch with customers. Utilize CRM to send new product notifications, or even a birthday greeting to a particular customer.
Combine CRM and marketing automation to really hammer home your marketing efforts. The real beauty of this combo is that it means your CRM efforts will be fully automated.
CRM is a very powerful tool when utilized properly, and if you’re not currently using it you should be planning on adopting it as soon as possible. The Mission Suite provides several advanced and easy to use CRM tools to get your customer relationships on track.
If you have any questions about implementing CRM, or have something to add to the conversation, be sure to drop us a line in the comments. If you’d like to learn more about The Mission Suite’s CRM support be sure to check out our free trial!