Author and Entrepreneur Seth Godin once said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relationships, stories and magic.” While the first requirement of a consumer in patronizing a brand is that it satisfies a need or desire in a manner that he feels satisfied, there is a lot of weight that is carried by having a story behind the brand, having affinity for the brand, moreso if she feels she has a relationship with the brand.
Relationships with our customers begin at the very first encounter, the initial “touchpoint” depends on the entry points you have in your business. For retail companies, it is a step inside the door of your store, or this, can even be preceded by your store window, if you have one. For online businesses, it’s your website, or social media pages that not only create a first impression, but it is also your opportunity to spark a “relationship” with your new potential customer. This is the first step in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, a vital part in today’s marketing journey for any brand.
To “spark” or initiate a relationship, the first step would be to try to capture your customer’s information, so that you would be able to sustain communications with her. Create a mechanism to be able to do this. For retail businesses, it could be at point of sale, like asking if the customer wants to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for a future discount, or to receive emails from your brand. For websites, it could be the same, but in the form of a pop-up mailing list sign-up form. Once you are able to have her “opt in”, you can keep the relationship going through regular correspondences with her.
Here are some benefits of creating a CRM system, to sustain customer relationships:
- Build brand love. Sharing stories about the purpose of your brand, how the company started, the founders struggles or vision, behind the scenes in manufacturing or operations, stories behind campaigns, make customers feel like they are part of your company. It’s like sharing stories with a friend, it creates a link and bond between two entities, in this case, you and your customer.
- Create a community. Having close contact with your customers give you an opportunity to create a synergized group of people with something in common: they patronize (and hopefully love) your brand, and Through this medium, you can encourage them to focus on a certain message, it could be an advocacy, a cause to believe in, a battlecry, or an idea, a common thread that binds them together, a movement towards one thing, that your brand can initiate.
- Push promotions and campaigns. Your customer opting in is already a sign that she is interested in your brand. Done appropriately, your CRM system allows you to have the facility to communicate any promotions, special sales, campaign that are coming up. For your loyal customers, being the first to know about the goins-on in your company makes them feel special. Offering your database special privileges like first dibs sales, or exclusive discounts or bundles, and the like, will enrich their experience even more.
- Gain feedback. Learning more about how you are doing, if you are successfully serving customer’s needs, if there are unmet expectations, how they’re last experience with you was, how you can improve and be better, are golden nuggets of information to help you step up your game and also protect your territory. Funnel surveys, feedback forms, quick polls through your CRM system and gain valuable insights into your customer’s mind.
These are just some benefits of having a system of communicating with your customers. Take advantage of these opportunities to create meaningful relationships with the heart of your business, your customer. One of the ways to do this is through email marketing platforms like Benchmark. Inquire now at www.benchmarkemail.com.