Category Archives: Client relationship

Catalyze Yourself Through Client Motivation

All the recurring issues about client satisfaction in business are surely not simple table top topics of meetings. There is no doubt whatsoever that client satisfaction is the most significant metric that is measured in a business and it is one of the strongest factors that heights the business.

But, let’s be honest, client satisfaction is no piece of cake. As hard as you may work, you might never be able to attain the satisfaction quotient that you expect from your clients. Handling their complaints, maintaining their profits and regaining trust from older customers can be a hard task – physically and emotionally. On the other hand, glitches of positivity from the customer end always arise, which can be made constant by channelizing your transactions with the clients.

Here are a few points that can help you gain good client satisfaction by motivating them.

Link up with your sales team

You must know what promises your sales team is making with clients during a closure so that your work is in compliance with the customer expectation. This is a must-do step. The situation where the sales team and you are not on the same line can be very conflicting in a long-term tenure. In order to deliver appropriately, your knowledge about the services closed by the sales team must never be blurring. So, connect with your sales team consistently.

Discuss the goals with your client

Before you start working on a project, it is necessary to discuss it with the clients. Set up goals with your client in the loop; let them know what you will be doing, how you will be working and what is most probably expected as the results. Set achievable goals and be smart. Communicate the aim with specific objectives, quantify where you can, do not promise for what is not attainable or is doubted to be attainable and be honest. Remember to disclose any uncertainty matters to your clients.

Keep them informed

Do not abandon them as you embark on the project journey. Remember, it is THEIR project and they should be involved in it for successful results. It is their right to know every step that is being taken in their work with respect to time, finance and people. Keeping them involved gives them a sense of security and even if you are not able to attain as expected, they will trust you. Update them with your hard work regularly and ensure that all special offers are communicated in time.

Do not make you communication robotic

Make them feel as a part of your team, communicate with them as a peer. Get rid of those email templates and call scripts – no one gets personal with a call centre call. They need to know that you consider them as a component of your squad. You need not be formal if your work is strong. Inform your clients of all the positives and negatives of the current scenario in the project. Also, do not get over-informal. Be professional.

The above are some minor tips that you can follow to easily win over your clients and motivate them to give those positive glitches as well as retain them effectively. Follow them and share your experience with us on info@bmconsulting.in or visit us at www.bmconsulting.in for more information.

Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Software – why and how?

Businesses have to be customer-centric and there is absolutely no other option. And being customer centric requires a myriad of aspects to come together and most importantly, these aspects should interconnect in order to form a holistic business model. It is humanly extremely difficult to have a customer-centric model of the nature as described. That’s where a CRM software comes in handy.

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A CRM is like a front office dealing with sales, marketing and customer service. It allows data centralisation like none other. CRM offers a data centralisation and inter connection such that the same data can be connected and accessed on different platforms by all the assigned users. Data is usually spread out through different employees on various system and applications as suitable to each of them. This might also result in data loss when a particular employee moves out. CRM happens to be a solution to all this chaos.

Spread out data can be very hard to collect, analyse and report. Data collection itself may end up with a good number of holes and it is a time consuming act. With a slow process, business notice changes in their metrics only at extreme points. For example, if a certain department is running under loss, it will only be clearly visible after a longer time and generally it becomes a hurdle to handle at such points. Data integration is flawlessly accessed in CRM which allows all departments to integrate so that they may work together and inter-act to come up with best business solutions.

Giving a 360 degree view from the customer’s perspective, CRM is modular in nature and the most important module is the contacts module. This is a repository of all contact detail of leads/prospects/customers. Other inclusions in this module can be history of communication, notes for reference and any pending activities. All other modules are co-joined to the contacts module and integration between all the modules is allowed thus.

A summation of all benefits that result from CRM can be termed as automation. The reduction of human interference ensures a process to run without any errors. For example if a lead fills a form on the website, the CRM software is automatically updated with the information and an auto-response mail is sent to the lead. This email can be copied to a sales team member giving him an assigned prompt of follow up. Once the team member responds to this email, it is also stored in the contacts history of communication. All these activities happen without any human interference requirement and therefore ease out things for the better.

Additional business activities such as lead scoring can also be implemented in CRM. Lead scoring can be accomplished by answering simple questions and giving the lead an automatically calculated score. Alerts and prompts can be sent out to different departments/personnel regarding different reminders. Customised dashboards can be implemented in CRM such that all important information is directly visible with comparison facilities.

If you are looking for a customer oriented management base, CRM is your ultimate source!

RE-ENGAGING YOUR DORMANT CUSTOMER BASE

In the current marketing scenario, customer retention and re-engagement are in the spotlight. Apart from other essential activities, it is no doubt that customer re-engagement should occupy a significant position. Lead generation and lead nurturing occupy the topmost places in the marketing funnel in terms of position, time and cost. Following this theory, customer acquisition has always been one of the difficult stages in the whole marketing process. You have to win over the customer’s confidence and educate him/her applicably about your company and products/services.

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Getting in touch with your former customer base relieves you off all these stresses by facilitating the lead generation and nurturing process. In addition, your old clients know you and have interacted with you. They are well aware of your company’s strategies and services. Looking back to prior customer lists proves to be effective both in terms of time and cost. You need not start from scratch when considering your older clients. Let us look a few steps that you may take to reactivate your former clients to touch your base again.

Phone calls and emails are the most obvious methods that are used for professional communication today. If your customer had a personal communication method with you, you may directly give him a call and discuss on other matters before you gradually raise the topic of your business alliance. Try to tackle him informally into a comfort zone and then discuss business issues, this will allow him to open up to you about the exact reason of why he dropped out initially. On the other hand, if your relation was not personal, try contacting an old client together with another high level management in conference. Have a professional starting and try to get the reason of him exiting from the business. Remember, that your first contact for re-engagement should not be in order to persuade him to come back but rather to first get a clear picture of the precise reason of him/her leaving.

Getting in touch with a simple email is far too rough to get any response from a client who has stopped working with you. You are not of much importance to the customer at this point in time therefore it is advisable to make your emails a bit different. You may send a personal mail to send the customer a greeting or a wish, probably on a birthday, anniversary or the likes. Getting in touch through personal aspects are likely to get more attention than just a regular day. Another way of getting in touch through emails is to send a short and precise survey form. This will enable the customer to pour out his reasons on a single platform and you can get to know them easily. Do not make the forms large and difficult to handle.

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Once you gather the explanations as to why your customers were obliged to step out of the business with you, put up your strategy to combat these reasons. For example, if a client is having financial problems, you may offer flexible payment facilities or a small discount or an extra added service/product for a free trial. If they had to leave because of a low customer satisfaction, show them your revised policies and introduce them to your new team. You may also share some other testimonials with them which you have attained during their absence. This might re-inforce their trust in you. When you are in contact with them again and they reveal to you a severe mistake, it is worthwhile to offer a discount to cover up for the same. It may be painful in the beginning, but this approach gives huge results.

When you are planning to reach out to your former clients, prioritize your list. Put the important clients on the top of the list – those who can give you substantial business. Apart from this, it is very important to be in a continuous research mode for your company. There is always space for improvement and it should not be ignored in business. Having a system which monitors customer engagement (both current and past) helps a lot in maintaining and improving business and business relationships.

Handling Customer Complains – A Positive Approach

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Facing criticism can be the hardest thing to do – especially professionally and the fact that you have put your efforts in full force just adds to the demotivation. Now, it is a business fact that however good you are, you will ALWAYS have customers who are unhappy. But keep it in mind that if you are lucky, they will complain. An aggressive and spontaneous customer will simply discard your services, sometimes even silently, if he/she is dissatisfied. The very reason why your clients are complaining is that they are ready to give you a chance to cover up for their dissatisfaction and they want you to improve.

First and foremost, identify your customers. Population is heterogeneous and so are your customers. Each person will need a different approach of solution. Some of the most common types of customers in the context of complaints are as follows:

  1. The gentle one – This customer is facing an issue but is very submissive and doesn’t want to burden you with only his complaint. Take responsibility for these customers, inquire deeply about his issue and solve it efficiently.
  2. The aggressive one – This person will confront you over-boldly regarding his issues and his/her behaviour reflects authoritativeness. Be careful not to tackle him/her with the same behaviour. Be polite and pick up his issues. Do not be over-submissive, you (and your team) have worked honestly too.
  3. The extravagant – The customer who will never delay in payments but would want a balancing service provision. It is very important that you categorize these customers separately and cater to their needs despite continuous importuning.
  4. The chronic objector – This customer sets levels for ultimate patience testing. Nothing happens to satisfy him/her. There are two types of customers within this range. One will be complaining at all times but once he achieves his sought goal, he shall be one of your happiest customers and may lead to many referrals. The other will simply complain, he/she has no set objective and will simply point out errors.

Whichever type of customer you are faced with, always remember that he requires a genuine and professional solution from you in the quickest possible timeframe. You need to provide him/her with the same, to keep up your company standards. There are a few points that may be considered to help you with handling your clients.

  • Always acknowledge the complaint before you give an explanation. It gives the customer a positive feedback that you are actually understanding what he/she is going through and therefore will be able to help better.
  • Do not interrupt a customer when he/she is complaining. It further gets away with their mood.
  • If immediate action is not possible for the issue, assure your customer about the timeline that will be required to complete the tasks. Always remember to communicate back to your clients regarding any updates that you have done regarding their complaint.
  • Give them a hypothesis of what actions will be taken with respect to their complains and what will be the results. It gives them the idea of what is to be expected and also shows them that you are well acquainted with your work.
  • You may have erred in your previous tasks; it’s no harm to apologize if your mistake is honest.
  • Time matters. And it matters a lot. Show your customers that you care about their time by quickly acting on their complaints. Never put any customer related tasks for later on. Quicker actions taken on customer complains improve your impression to big heights.
  • Always re-communicate. It shows your customer that you are really paying attention to them and may reduce the chances of any further complains.
  • Keep a record of all complains and actions that have been taken for the same. You can refer back to them if at all needed. These can also be used for reporting purposes.

The key to handling customer complaints is to be liable – focus on the effect, not the cause. Use your customer complaints intelligently for what they are actually meant to be – a pathway to improve your services.

Tracking the Client Conversion Journey

Marketing strategies are rather hard to apply in today’s chaotic epoch, with the clocks ticking faster than never before. As consumers, we are subject to all sorts of advertisements on a variety of platforms ranging from emails, messages, display ads and many more. In such situations, although it would be difficult to actually trace out the exact journey of a client lifecycle, it is of utmost importance to have a basic model that can be efficiently used by an organization and its marketers.

The excursion of a potential client from a requirement arising to contract signing with your organization gives you an ample space to proficiently make an impression on the client. Inbound marketing agencies ought to lay out their lead generation strategies on the buyer’s trail. There are three main stages that this journey can be divided into, which will be described in detail below. In a nutshell, these stages would describe the overall client conversion journey.

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  1. Reaching out – Brand awareness in the current market is the most vital point of capturing an audience. This point should be strong enough to appropriately pick up the correct target audience from the whole market. Making the first contact of your business with the audience occurs at this stage which is a ticking start for the marketers. It is a bit ambiguous for any organization to create exact goals in this stage since even the customer him/herself is usually not able to recognize this stage. One imperative point that the marketers should never overlook is that strategies that are applied at this stage should serve as effective (information) resources and not sales pitches.

Awareness can be measured using the following points:

  • Survey – carefully survey all your running customers and current prospects of how they reached you. Keep a record of all these points and pay more attention to these channels when creating your marketing strategies.
  • Identify the common search terms that are related with your organization and used widely in the market. Put yourself in the audiences’ shoes when researching on keywords and create content for SEO activities using these words.
  1. Driving the decision – Once you have gained the attention of potential customers, you need to drive them towards making a positive decision. Creating more contact and providing with more information is the key to mastering this point. Initiate contact by embedding contact buttons and live chat on your website. Make sure your contact details are easily visible on all your listings. You should also continue to write more blogs with the captured audience in mind. Working with you is highly beneficial – you know that, so convey the same to your audience. Create interactive contents like infographics, eBooks, videos and case studies. Share these widely throughout your corporate networks. Further attraction of decision driving can be done by offering free trials, packages etc. Marketers must make sure to make the right contacts at the right frequency. Don’t forget that overwhelming your audience can easily push them away from you. 
  1. Conversion – After you have given a broader look of your organization to your audience, specific and one-to-one communications follow up. At this stage, the recipient now is a prospect. He is in genuine requirement and is sincerely interested in your offers. Efficiency, communication and mutual understanding gradually result in conversion whereby the prospect now becomes a client.

 Measuring the conversion rate is an essential factor for any marketer. Conversion rate is measured with respect to factors such as total number of leads, total number of website visitors and the likes. As an efficient organization, all leads who did not convert into clients require attention as well. One needs to study why exactly their conversion was hampered. Looking into these reasons will result in higher conversion rates for the enxt scheme/strategy.

 

THE IMPORTANCE AND PROCESS OF CLIENT ONBOARDING

Client on-boarding is essentially defined as ‘establishing the account relationship, having a legal framework and getting the CRM correctly populated between yourself and the client’. In the practical corporate world, it is much more than just that. For marketing agencies, it is rather an ongoing process for the initial months with the client. And being a fundamental part of the relationship, marketing agencies that shun away from firm execution of client on-boarding either lose their clients fast or end up with clients who are just carrying on to get their projects done.

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As very well said by the author and marketing consultant John Janstch – “If you hold a customer’s hand for 90 days, they’ll be loyal for life”, if clients are satisfied in the initial stages, they will never abscond your services. Simply pulling them towards your services does not suffice, especially in the marketing industry. This is because actual results take time to show up and you need to continuously convince clients that you are truly working towards the very best for them.

After the client acquisition process, you need to assure the client that they have made the right choice by picking on you. Set the client into your business and establish a good and promising relationship. One must executively integrate clients into the business rather than just having them on the clientele list.

The following steps can be used for assuring a successful client on-boarding process:

  1. Collect all client information and requirements to every detail. It would be a good idea to update all this information onto your CRM and share the updation with the client.
  2. Send a welcome note to the client on acquisition – this could be in the form of a letter or an email. You may also send a welcome kit to the client. Welcome kits would generally (but not necessary or limited to) the following items: a welcome video/link, several business cards, business brochure, testimonials/case studies and promotional items engraved with your logo.
  3. Arrange for a team meeting so that both teams are introduced to each other and the client is in well knowledge about who is working on his project.
  4. Regular reporting about the ongoing activities to the client is an important augment of all on-boarding activities. Make sure the client is in loop.
  5. Check-up calls at regular intervals (weekly calls are recommended) keep you both updated on any new activities/changes that are going on.

Keep the above points in mind to ensure an effective client on-boarding that will result in less of churn for your business. No-one wants to keep on cliffing too new clients because of losing older ones. Make your clients cling on to you by building a profitable business relation.