Around 10 years ago relationship marketing was all the rage with software companies developing systems that could streamline the functions of sales, marketing, and accounts. Today most large organisations have a CRM system in place with the aim of reducing costs and increasing profitability.
Given that the ‘C’ is foremost in the acronym, one would hope that a company’s CRM strategy is 100% customer-centric because the applied relationship with the customer is key to its success and ROI. Ensuring a comprehensive set of metrics on customer satisfaction, brand awareness and experience is one of the first steps to developing targetted and successful marketing campaigns.
The beauty of a well thought out CRM strategy is that it builds a sustained connection with customers and prospects so one is able to identify the most profitable customers, as well as those customers who are having a less than positive experience. It is essential to understand that satisfaction levels vary amongst customers, and that their experience at each touch-point with the company or brand can result in degrees of positivity (and negativity).
Most good CRM systems are capable of providing a set of customer analytics at each touch-point including insights such as profiling, satisfaction scores, frequency etc. There are few systems that support in-depth feedback asking the more personal questions such as Why? and Why Not? and What If? or even What is it about X that makes you buy it rather than competitor Y? Sometimes the answer is not in the product itself, but in the overall experience or some excellently delivered touch-point along the way. Q & A feedback forms, profiling intelligence and purchase history can only explain so much, deeper insights are found using qualitative research. Imagine how more effective marketing can be with a greater depth of insight.
What of social CRM systems? Using social media as a CRM channel can be fraught with risk, no more so than being exposed to angry customers or impolitic employee tweets. Customer advocacy is becoming as important as loyalty and social media has opened up a wealth of opportunities to achieve this – if managed correctly. Ameliorate the risk with a customer experience strategy that incudes social media as another touch-point in the customer journey.
WDG Research has been bringing clients closer to their customers for 21 years by digging deep and uncovering the real issues that affect consumer decisions. Our clients understand the commercial importance of delivering a positive customer experience at every point of the journey.
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