written by Camille Bohrer, Cyrielle Richter and Cécile Jeanne
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere.” – Sam Walton
CRM?! Again some marketing barbarian term! No, this is really simple. Customer Relationship Management clusters all operational measures aiming at developing, nurturing, enhancing, or reviving the relationship between a company and the customer. CRM systems gather information across all touchpoints (website, mail, social media…). The final company’s aim is to manage and analyze this information in order to grow in sales and to make customers more loyal.
CRM has become a topic of central importance for companies as customers are their main resource. Customers’ expectations are steadily increasing and companies need to keep up with this rapid pace. Following the customer’s journey has become even easier in the digital world (how many times per day are you accepting cookies on a website? :)) and cutting-edge companies manage to know their customers so well that they can influence their behaviors and needs. Apple has become a master in this field: it spots trends by analyzing their customers’ journey and achieve early market launch so as to capture the most attention. And after each release the same reaction: “How did I live without it?”
CRM is a really large topic. Hence, we would like to focus here on three current CRM trends, on which companies should focus their strategies.
SOCIAL AND MOBILE CRM
Obvious, right? Are you reading this article on your mobile or tablet? Did you open Facebook right after deactivating your alarm? Then, you are the living proof of this trend.
Mobile tends to hold the first place in many marketing fields. At the same time, social media became a main touchpoint to customers. One main figure to keep in mind: almost 50% of consumers use social media during their purchase decisions. Companies must now focus on mobile and social media marketing and even link both fields. If companies miss the boat today, it might be impossible to catch up.
For companies, mobile CRM means first and foremost access to information everywhere, at anytime and easily: customer relationship software developers need to develop their interface and adapt these for mobile use. This results in increasing sales because your salesforce will be able to deliver a much more interactive experience on the field.
From a customer point of view, firms deploying great mobile CRM are more visible and make happier. They can voice their complaints, issues, ideas or suggestions and have a rapid and personalized feedback. For this reason community management has taken an important place. Customers are not just consumers but also participants. In exploiting this participation, companies create more value and use customer empowerment to rise customer satisfaction.
How to empower a customer by Renault – quick, nice and fun.
STRONGER FOCUS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customers are no longer seeking for just a product. They are seeking for a brand image, for values, for emotions. Customers are seeking for experiences. How can CRM create a better customer experience?
Differentiation is the key for every company today. If a company can deliver a differentiated product or service to the right customer segment while delivering the right experience at the right time, then it will win the game. Companies need to know each customer’s journey as well as possible in order to tackle each issue at the exact moment when they appear in the customer’s mind – or even better, one second before.
Airline companies send reminders one day in advance for luggage registration or seat booking; they also offer a car rental or a shuttle service one week before departure. By doing this, they are answering passengers’ questions before being asked. Of course, they should guarantee quick and personalized answer to other questions.
Customers are not only seeking for differentiation but also for emotions. Feedback programs, responses on Facebook, Twitter or reviews websites help the companies in delivering better experiences. Companies need to be reachable and deliver a personalized service to each customer.
Let’s take the example of the video game industry. Video games are developed with the help of real gamers so as to optimize the experience. After market release, players from all over the world records their games and these recordings are used to fix bugs. A great manner to take care of customers’ experiences and feedbacks.
By getting aware of the value of the customer-company relationship and analyzing each touchpoint, companies will be able to develop a better service and demonstrate a particular attention to clients’ needs, problems and requests, resulting in customers’ empowerment and better satisfaction.
CONTENT: PERSONALIZATION EVERYWHERE
The customer is King, and companies have to do everything they can to make this King happy! However, customers’ demands and expectations have never been higher than it is today, they want more: personalized experiences!
Today, personalization is becoming one of the biggest digital trends that brands are aiming at today.
What is more boring than an impersonal and irrelevant message in your mailbox? Today companies and marketers found the solution and are able to create a more personalized experience by integrating your first name in emails or newsletters. Even Facebook displays for example a welcoming message with your name when you log in to the social network.
You probably also heard about the Coca-Cola Company’s marketing campaign which consisted in personalizing bottles and cans. Actually more than 500.000 first name have been printed on the drinks. This operation made it possible for the company to increase not only its sales, but also its reputation as a young and concerned company.
Another relevant type of personalized marketing consists in using the customers’ location in order to provide better adapted offers. For example on the website Zalando the currency will change accordingly to your connexion place. Carrefour geotags its customers having its mobile app and send them automatically a notification in order to inform them about upcoming promotions.
Companies are not only using names or locations, but they go much further by analysing customer behavior. What are the last products you bought, the most consulted products on Internet, how often, what are your restraints or your motivations?
This is the higher level of personalization that allows the company to better know its customers’ expectations and then to suggest them the adapted products or services. This method will show the user how well a company knows him and understands him. Therefore, companies will be able to deliver the right message at the right time, and this is an efficient personalized marketing!
Personalization marketing is probably just going to get more personal. And if companies want to see their sales grow exponentially, and get more loyal customers, personalization is definitely the way to go!
And you, did you experience some really good CRM? Some ideas on how to make CRM even better? Drop a comment!
- Rouse, M (2014). What is customer relationship management (CRM)? from: http://searchcrm.techtarget.com
- Hollar, K. (2016). 6 CRM Trends to Look For in 2016. from: http://blog.capterra.com
- Lonoff Schiff, J. (2015). 6 CRM Predictions for 2016. from: http://www.cio.com
- Lasonde, J. (2015). Cover image retrieved from http://www.bullhorn.com