Phil Gibson - Marketing | Building Brand Experience
Phil Gibson - Marketing | Building Brand Experience

Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is all about listening to and profiling your visitors for THEIR benefit.  The best CRM system is polite and provides the best possible service at the opportune time for your customers.  If it provides this service quickly and without undue burden, it will satisfy your customers.  If you create your service to think ahead and provide offers beyond what a customer explicitly asks for, you will delight your customers.  Delighted customers will buy more and they will recommend you to their communities.

 

Let me say this again.  CRM systems are for the benefit of your customers.  Maintain that perspective and you will be successful.

 

Your customer profile is your map of your customer.  It needs to have perfect memory and be available to everything in your content and sales infrastructure so that you can personalize your customer experience.  We all appreciate the personal service we receive from a trusted supplier.  The polite personal greeting to welcome you back into their showroom.  The friendly quality assurance questions as they fulfill their service, "Welcome back and how are you today, Mr. Gibson?".  "Are you quite comfortable and satisfied with your last purchase?"  "I have something that I picked out specially for you that I know you will enjoy; It is very popular with intelligent customers like you." 

 

Every business has a customer pyramid.  There are a few high volume high revenue customers at the top and we target our best resources and personal service to deal directly with these customers.  Their volumes and importance to our business demands our lowest prices.  These customers are considered our most profitable because they generate a lot of profit margin dollars and help to absorb our overhead expenses.

 

Our next layer of customers in the mid tier are also important.  They may not buy as frequently or in as large a volume as our top tier but they help us profit from our capacity by purchasing the same or very similar products at higher prices.  These customers are likely to still be managed by direct resources but most or at least a portion of their business is serviced through our channel partners.

 

Finally, at the base of the pyramid, many small customers exist.  They pay the highest prices for our products and they tend to be high margin as long as they do not use our direct resources.  These customers are a great opportunity for profit when serviced through automated methods using your online resources.

 

It is critical to understand your internal and geographic coverage resources.  The service or delegation map from prospect interaction to best possible channel of service is the task of your CRM system.  Your task is to work with your field resources and agree on the true definition of a qualified lead.  What size of customer does it have to be?  Is there a specific list?  At what stage of the Awareness-Action flow does each size of customer in the pyrmid need to be at in order for it to be a qualified lead?  Once you have agreed on this definition of a lead, now you are ready to begin prototyping your lead follow up CRM system.

 

Work with your visitors and guide them through the process.  Listen closely and engage with your critical resources when they pass your qualified lead threshhold.  Lead management and your CRM system is the heart of building a good customer experience and it can be a very fulfilling task.  Generating delight is fun!

 

A last bit of advice, remember who your customers are and use this knowledge to pre fill their information on your sites.  A huge mistake is to require that your customers register and complete horrendous forms before they simply browse your public information.  Ask them for the necessary information to complete the task they have for you.  As you remember their history and you guide them along the Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action process, only ask them for the next bit of information that you need for the next step.  They will appreciate your patience.  If they do provide information to you, remember it and reuse it the next time you need it.  Do not ask them for the same information again for your convenience or because your developers were not able to connect your internal applications together.  You are in this business for the customer, not the other way around.

 

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This Web site is aimed at capturing some of the basic concepts I use when creating integrated marketing programs and leveraging the internet.

 

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