Customer relationship management and building should be an essential part of any business these days. Without any doubt, these are responsible for paving the path of success for any business.
Amazon is the biggest example of that, it is the foundation of their business. Building lifelong customer relations consist of two components.
- Customer Relationship Management
- Engaging Customer
And we are going to mainly talk about the first part of the customer relationship-building process in this article. For not missing the second part of this blog, remember to subscribe to our emails.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT & BUILDING
A good company always remembers that tangibles are just a part of the customer value and satisfaction part. Many factors that contribute to an increased level of satisfaction are intangibles like customer relationship management and building.
And any kind of relationship marketing involves two key steps. These are –
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
Customer relationship building focuses on identifying the right customers for your business and building strong and profitable relationships with them.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
This part is about managing those relationships you just built in the first step. Customer relationship management normally leads to customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
WHAT IS ONLINE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT?
Your customers and possible customers are not just visiting your brick and mortar stores. Many times they are visiting even your digital store aka website.
Some other times they are using social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with you. A successful customer relationship management takes place when you are present wherever your customers are.
This will not just help you in connecting with them, but also in conversing with them and delighting them.
Not to mention, it should be a crucial part of your relationship marketing strategy.
WHAT IS A CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT & BUILDING STRATEGY?
A customer relationship management and building strategy is generally a very long-term strategy and it doesn’t focus on the number of sales.
As the name suggests, it focuses on building a relationship with a customer that is lifelong and lasts more than a sale. The kind of relationship that will make your customer consistently choose you over your competitors and continue buying from you.
WHAT DOES A CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
A customer relationship management process has three stages.
- Acquiring customers
- Engaging with customers
- Growing with customers
STAGE 1: ACQUIRING CUSTOMERS
You start your customer building process even when you are in the first stage of customer acquisition. When you are trying to acquire customers, you are in the phase of when you are just getting to know each other.
It generally involves understanding more of your customers, their needs, and having the initial conversations.
STAGE 2: ENGAGING WITH CUSTOMERS
Once you have acquired that consumer, your relationship-building strategy needs more than just having small talks. Now is the time to move to the stage of having deeper conversations. And you can do that when you are able to engage your customer.
The strategies at this stage normally revolve around increasing customer engagement and having meaningful conversations.
STAGE 3: GROWING WITH CUSTOMERS
At the last stage. Your strategy should be about converting that customer into your partner – your marketing partner and business advocate. You want your customers to feel like an unreplaceable part of your business.
This needs an advance level of customer relationship building actions as this is the stage of building a loyal customer base or a community. But the end product of this is highly worth it.
You get lifelong customers – customers who are going to stay with you. In addition, you also get marketing partners who will be engaging customers with your brands.
HOW TO FORM A CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT STRATEGY?
The two most powerful building blocks of customer relationship management are –
- Customer Value
- Customer Satisfaction
When I talk about customer value, I am not talking about what you think about your products. On the other hand, I am talking about what your customer thinks of your product.
If I ask you to describe your product to me in 5 words, you can say that it’s of high quality, provides better performance than other similar products in the market, comes with great customer service, industry experts and has got easy design.
But if I ask the same question to your customers, what are the five words they are going to choose will define the real value of your products to your customers. They may say something in agreement with what you said, or they can say something completely contrary to your statements.
They may agree that your product is of high quality but they may not agree that it has an easy design. Figuring out all these perceptions a customer holds about your products will help you define the actual value of your product in the market.
Every business owner I have met so far thinks of their product as the best one in the market. There is nothing wrong with that.
But it all boils down to if your customers also agree with you or not.
If your customers agree with you, ‘Bravo! You have built a great product and have also done exceptional branding.’ But if they don’t, something is missing either in your product or in your branding strategy.
This will be a great time for you to do customer research and work on your branding strategy. If you need help with that, you can contact us and we will let you what brand image you have and how that image can be improved.
WHAT IS PERCEIVED CUSTOMER VALUE?
And perceived customer value is an assessment of your product, its benefits, its cost, the cost-benefit research with other similar products in the market along with their cost-benefit analysis.
Perceived customer value is measured by how your customer sees your product. To build a strong customer relationship, you have to increase customer value. And if you want to increase the customer value, you need to know first what your customer thinks of you.
Some find it when they get more features than in other competitive products. Some see the value when the product comes with some kind of guarantee or customer support service.
While customers can see value in exclusivity. There is never just one perceived value.
You should start by identifying these different set of customers based on the perceived values of your product and try to delight them by delivering what matters most to them. When you do that, you are forming a strong base of your custom building strategy.
To exemplify, when you think of Amazon, as a customer you might perceive it as a company that has made online shopping easier, has got a vast selection of products, provide fast delivery, and have easy return and refund policy.
This is Amazon’s perceived value according to me. It can be different in your case.
Also, This shows that Amazon’s real customer values and Amazon’s perceived customer value are very much aligned with each other. The reason is their strong branding strategy.
Customer satisfaction doesn’t derive from the customer value, but it does from perceived customer value. If your brand promises don’t match with your customers’ perceptions about your product, the satisfaction level of them might go down.
The step to increasing customer satisfaction is dependent on increasing perceived customer value. And for that, you have to analyze your branding strategy and understand what you have been doing wrong so far.
Customer satisfaction increases when the buyers’ expectations are exceeded by the product’s perceived value by that customer.
So, the benefits of having satisfied customers are many. It has been noticed that the cost of acquiring a new customer is generally higher than retaining the same customer.
If your customer is satisfied, it will lead to repeat purchases which will contribute to your business growth. And the best part, it will lead to building a team of customer advocates for your brand.
Customer advocates are an extension of your marketing team. They can also be your customer marketing team.
If you follow this, you won’t have a problem with building customer relationships for your brand
WHAT DOES CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT COMPANIES DO?
A customer relationship management company takes care of your customers on your behalf. From helping you in increasing the perceived value of your products to increase your customers’ satisfaction level, they strategize everything.
Certainly, A customer relationship management company helps you in your customer acquisition process by conversing and engaging with your customers and transforming every connection into a lifelong relationship.
At Bizadmark, we do this by taking a brand on the journey of being human. We believe a relationship is stronger when it’s between two humans rather than between a brand and humans.
And for achieving that, first, a brand needs to be transformed into a human.
More than 90% of Ritz Carlton customers become their return customers. All credit goes to its strong approach to customer relationship building and management.
The same is the case with Amazon. It’s a business built of repeat purchases.
You have to change your customer relationship management and building strategy according to the type of customers you are interacting with. In some cases, even a basic relationship is enough. In some others, you need a full partnership kind of relationship.
In summary, here’s why you need an effective customer relationship management and building strategy –
Customer relations plus customer value leads to customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction leads to customer retention.
Customer retention leads to customer loyalty.