How to Improve Customer Relationship Management
Improving your customer relationship management requires three steps.
- Collect demographics.
- Keep good records.
- Market to different types of customers.
Improve Customer Relationship Management By Collecting Demographics
To improve your customer relationship management, you need to gather demographic information on your customers.
You can collect demographic information - like age, gender, and type of employment - with customer surveys and contests. You can do this at the time of purchase or later if you acquire contact information, and then follow-up after the purchase.
Following up with your customers enables you to reinforce their purchase decisions and to start building good customer relationships. It enables you to demonstrate an interest in your customers while acquiring information that will help you to serve and market to them better.
By better understanding them, you can create messages and offers that they find relevant and appealing.
Improve Customer Relationship Management By Keeping Good Records
Once you've collected your customers' information, you should record that information along with what they bought, when they bought, and if they bought through a sale or special promotion. Then you can let your customers know of similar sales and promotions.
You'll need to keep all this in a database so you can segment your customers and send them customized offers.
The more information you keep and the more ways that you can access and analyze it, the more likely you'll be able to convert first-time customers into repeat customers.
Improve Customer Relationship Management By Marketing To Different Types Of Customers
Three main levels of customers need to be managed differently.
Lapsed customers have purchased from you, but not for a while. You need to get them to purchase again by making them a similar offer that created their prior purchase.
For example, if they purchased because you were having a sale or offering a discount, you'll need to offer them comparable savings to get them to purchase again.
Loyal customers have made repeat purchases from you at regular prices. Instead of offering them a sale price, you need to treat them special.
If yours is an off line business, you can open late one night just for them. If you operate and on line business, you can invite them to be affiliates. For both types of businesses, you can assign a representative or a special telephone number that loyal customers can call for immediate service.
You can also encourage them to purchase more by letting them know of new products and services. E-mail and direct mail work effectively.
Brand customers may have only purchased from you once, but demonstrate potential to become loyal customers. You should pursue them with promotions that further develop their positive perception of your brand.
Improve Customer Relationship Management: Conclusion
Keeping in touch with your customers improves customer relations while also improving your sales.
Your customers will appreciate knowing that you are thinking about them "after the sale." They will be more likely to purchase again because of your customized offers and communications.
Customization improves customer relationships and builds loyal customers because it demonstrates that you consider each customer special. And that's the best way to improve your customer relationship management.
About the Author:
Linda P. Morton, Ed.D., APR
Linda P. Morton is Professor Emeritus, The University of Oklahoma. She writes a blog on marketing at Target Marketing. She also sells an ebook that provides characteristics by target market demographics at Target Market Appeals.