Five Things You Should Already Be Doing When You Talk To Your Customers

Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) is typically viewed as a technology solution in today’s marketing landscape, but in reality, it’s as much an approach as it is a piece of database software. Whether you have an advanced CRM solution or you roll with a MailChimp email list and a handwritten marketing calendar, here’s five things you should already be doing when you talk to your customers.

1. Make sure your content is targeted, timed, and terrific.

Some advertisers say “Right content, right person, right place, right time,” but you’ll never get that mix perfect. It’s a nice goal to shoot for, but it’s easy to miss and the results you get often won’t help you get much better. However, if you shoot for content that is meant for the person you’re sending it to, intentionally timed, and very well-crafted, you’ll hit a lot more often. Be intentional and be excellent. If you succeed at that, you’re 90% of the way there.

2. Use geo-location to support content delivery and relevance.

If you know where your customers are, you can speak to them more effectively. There are tons of out-of-the-box solutions to enabling geo-location in apps, websites, and even emails. Common sense would tell you that if a customer opens up your email, your app, or your website from inside your location that they’re looking for different information than what they might need at home. Likewise, if they open it an hour after they made a purchase, they are probably looking for something different than they would be if they did so six weeks after their last purchase. Location and timing are everything and the solutions exists to build that kind of common sense into our customer experience platforms.

3. Build customer care into your CRM strategy.

Your CRM is just another arm of your customer experience and if customer care isn’t built in, it isn’t complete. Imagine if your storefront or call center was only equipped to sell and never equipped to help customers with their challenges. That would be selfish and foolish, not to mention irritating, frustrating, or infuriating for your customers. CRM is the same way. You can either use technology to simplify your customers’ interactions with you, or you can let technology be a barrier to your customers achieving their goals. Choose the latter at your peril.

4. Don’t customize, personalize.

As you start out, you’ll never have the data necessary to truly personalize everything you do with a customer, so as you explore segmentation and messaging strategies, you’ll first try to customize. But if you rest on segmentation, you’ll never unlock the power of the personal touch we know and utilize in our direct interactions with customers. Use the power of the technology and the data you collect with every interaction and sale to empower a higher level of personal service every time a customer interacts with you.

5. Treat mobile, web, social, and on-site communication as one.

This is often called an omni-channel approach. That is to say, customers jump from one channel to another quickly and if the channels don’t work and feel the same, we’re creating a barrier for our customer.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company or a Mom & Pop Flower Shop, customers expect to be able to find you and interact with you in the space they already inhabit, the social web, their mobile devices, their browsers. If the channels you employ don’t speak together, you’re missing an opportunity to reach your customers effectively.

CRM is an incredibly powerful tool to manage marketing campaigns, but the real power is when you use it to turn a customer into an engaged and loyal fan or turn a bad customer experience into a great one. CRM isn’t just a customer database and an email plan, it’s a multi-faceted approach to understanding, learning from, assisting, and cultivating your best customers. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use it that way.

I may be a full-grown adult human, but I still get a cheap thrill when someone recommends something I wrote or follows me on Twitter or Medium. Won’t you be that person today? I’d love to hear what you’re up to.