Leading companies across the globe invest millions of dollars into refining their customer relationship strategies and focusing on becoming more customer centric.
Organizations that are just beginning to craft their own customer relationship strategies might find that there is no one size fits all solution to building trust and brand loyalty through relationships.
Finding the right approach that works for your company and target audiences may take some trial and error, but there are a few things to keep in mind that generally help increase customer centric practices and can help build lasting customer relationships.
What is Customer Relationship Development?
Customer relationship development is the practice of using multiple approaches that create a bond between brands and customers, both potential and existing. Long term customer relationships lead to higher sales, ROI, and even better online presence. Customer loyalty is key to increasing profits overall, so a well implemented customer relationship strategy is imperative to company success.
CRM (customer relationship management) is the collection of approaches that marketing teams use to leverage and build customer relationships over time. There are many CRM tools available that streamline the process of developing customer relationships, but for now we’ll focus on six factors to incorporate in order to make your customer relationship development strategy a success.
1. Lead Management
Lead management refers to the process of acquiring and managing potential leads until the point when they are ready to make a purchase and be converted into customers. Strategic lead management is key to successful customer relationship development.
Your customer’s first experiences with your brand take place during the lead phase, and an unorganized, aggressive, or lazy lead management strategy could leave a bad taste in customer’s mouths. Start by setting up profiles that reflect your target personas for reference and create ad experiences based on your ideal customers. This way, you are more likely to attract quality leads that will turn into lifelong customers.
2. Customer Service
In addition to solving client inquiries, your website UX and privacy policies will also have a significant effect on how customers rate their service experience with your brand. Customer service is another factor that majorly impacts your business, especially post COVID-19.
The pandemic spurred new expectations for customer service as AI and ML technologies have entered the stage. In 2021, customers prioritize real time service, ultra-personalized experiences, and brands that build communities.
They also expect you to respect their privacy and protect any information that they share with you. Another way to build trust with your customers is to integrate multi-factor authentication protocols with your login experience. This is important because 52% of all users re-use the same passwords for multiple logins. Although this is largely out of your company’s control, you can help mitigate the risk of a data breach and increase your customer’s security with this one tip.
Besides customer relationship development, you can use insights gained by your customer service team to inform your sales, marketing, and personnel departments. This way, you can ultimately improve customer relationships by making more educated and customer-oriented choices.
3. Workflow Automation
This is where your CRM process comes in. Automating your workflow through a CRM platform streamlines different touch points and processes to improve the overall efficiency of your lead management, customer relationships and business operations. Automation virtually eliminates missed opportunities to make contact along the customer journey.
Plus, workflow automation can help your customer relationship development efforts by reducing redundancies and other client-related problems that can negatively impact customer relationships. Utilizing workflow automation is rapidly becoming the norm, so if your business is not using these cutting edge tools to help nurture customer relationships, then you are at risk of falling behind the competition.
With more consumers expecting brands to act on their comments, feedback has become key to successful customer relationship development. On top of that, listening to customer feedback is another key to successfully building long-lasting customer relationships.
In fact, most customers say that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to their complaints and find solutions. Engaging customers with copy is the hardest part of getting their feedback. A targeted email campaign is a good way to collect feedback, as well as customer reviews, well-executed surveys, and social media.
Choosing the right web host is just as important to marketing teams as it is to developers. A visit to your website will tell a customer all they need to know about your company, and this includes the optimization and responsiveness of your website. Having a fast website is a crucial part of the customer experience, so it’s important that you choose a web host that provides fast uptimes.
According to software developer Nathaniel Finch, you should ideally look for a web host that offers 99.9% downtime, but “anything over 98% is considered good.”
There are many other things to consider when choosing a web host to work with. The type of web host that will be best for your organization depends on the type of website you are creating, the features that you require, the kind of support you will need to run your site, the growth you want to experience and your budget.
By keeping track of the relevant data, you can observe trends and patterns to improve your relationships with customers. Collect data at all points during the lead management stage and all throughout the customer journey easily by utilizing CRM tools.
Typically, CRMs will create actionable insights for brands to follow up with and rework their customer-facing processes including lead generation strategies, customer relationship building. Customer feedback, order info, demographics, and so much more can all be used to pinpoint which ads are working, what platforms bring the most engagement, and what your target audience is interested in seeing from your business in the future.
After you gather data, translate it into bar charts, graphs, pictograms, and diagrams to share them with different departments. This way, you will keep your teams updated on the current data points. Also, you can use this information to monitor and calculate the progress of your customer relationship efforts.
Studies show that brands that use data-driven customer analytics intensively are far more likely to outperform their competitors in new customer acquisition, and nine times more likely to outperform them in customer loyalty. Data driven customer relationship development strategies are vital to business success moving forward.
Customers today have high expectations of the brands that they support and follow, which means that marketing teams should be focused on every stage of the customer experience. Through a customer centric approach to building relationships, companies are more likely to see their brand loyalty and revenues increase and the overall success of their business flourish and grow in popularity.
The Bottom Line
Analyzing every aspect of the customer journey and their interactions with your company across all platforms has a huge impact on how you decide to implement a customer relationship development strategy. AI- based analytics can help you gain a better understanding of your customers by providing actionable insights based on large amounts of data.
What it all comes down to is the customer experience. From content marketing, to lead generation, to email campaigns, and the purchasing process, customer feedback and expectations should be at the center of your relationship building strategy.