Tag Archives: customer satisfaction

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.

Generating More Sales Through Customers on Amazon

Generating sales is a hurdle on its own – whichever sector your business is in, whichever platform you are working on whichever marketing strategy you are using. The core of business generation has been based on customers from the ancient times of business. Some things never lose integrity and customer satisfaction is one such thing when it comes to any business. This method is arguably the most efficient and reliable sales generation technique till date today.

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It is said that “To gain something we have to lose something” But the question is “can we gain everything without losing single thing?”  Yes we can. But for that we must have comprehensive knowledge of what to do and what not do? This same strategy implies for Amazon. There are certain aspects usually sellers do not pay attention to them but these are the real game changers. These aspects are as follows:

  1. Delivery/ Shipping – It is this aspect which finalizes the order on Amazon. Always try to deliver the product in allocated time. Keeping minimum delivery time will help to enhance the interest index of customer. To outdo the existing delivery/shipping facility Amazon instigated the service named as “Amazon fulfilled”. Under Amazon fulfilled service delivery/shipping is the responsibility of Amazon. Seller does not need to perform any obligation related to delivery/shipping. It gives assurance for on time delivery which is very significant for the healthy relationship with customer to generate good reviews about the product and seller.
  2. Packaging – Packaging plays crucial role in the process. As we know “the goods which look better sell better” is the thumb rule. So the product must be well packed. Also packaging is responsible for the safety of the product during shipping. Any damages leads to chaos so keep in mind the packaging should be safe.
  3. Reply to messages: this point is gaining ground day by day. Nowadays besides reviews, customers rely on how sellers respond to their queries. So, vendors should revert to customers well in time and appropriately. Once a customer gets required information he/she can make a decision on the product.
  4. Customer Feedback– Customer feedback is a marketing term that describes the process of obtaining a customer’s opinion about a business, product or service. Customer feedback is so important because it provides marketers and business owners with insight that they can use to improve their business, products and/or overall customer experience.
  5. Understanding Customer Demographics – Think of demographics as the ultimate categorization tool. Grouping consumers based upon characteristics allows organizations to better serve the needs of their ideal customers. In terms of marketing, it means selling a product or service to the person most likely to buy it based on their unique needs and preferences.The most important function of demographics in marketing is obviously to increase sales. By understanding consumers, any business can increase marketing efforts to target those most likely to buy.

Work on these aspects to literally note a significant boost in your sales and increase your market share at amazon. You may visit http://www.bmconsulting.co for further insights by experts.

(Compiled by Nikhil Patil)