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Make Your Company Customer-Centric – and Increase Profitability by a Whopping 75 Percent

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Make Your Company Customer-Centric - and Increase Profitability by a Whopping 75 PercentTechnology has provided us with unprecedented advances, information, knowledge, instant access and entertainment. It has changed the way we communicate, behave and think. But it has also led to a dramatic decline in our people skills. In the business world, focusing strictly on a digital experience will eliminate customer loyalty and emotional connection to a brand.

While there’s no denying that technology has amazing advantages to make it easier for the customer in most cases. But businesses need to provide it in moderation and not at the cost of the human experience. Even in this digital age, personal relationships are critical to building trust and loyalty with customers. Despite all the tech advancements, the disruptive force happening in business today is relationship building.

Research shows that a 5 percent increase in customer satisfaction can increase a company’s profitability by whopping 75 percent. Furthermore, 80 percent of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20 percent of the existing customer base.

Business leaders striving to stand out from the competition need to reinvent their business model to marry digital and human experiences in the best way possible. They need to place their emphasis on customer service in order to dominate in today’s emerging Relationship Economy.

Use these strategies to make your company customer-centric:

1. Recognize the importance of customer service to the bottom line. Executives frequently focus on analyzing the company’s profit and loss to determine where the company is over-spending and being wasteful, and then figure out how to reduce expenses to drive more profit to the bottom line. However, a company’s biggest expense doesn’t show on a P&L, at least not directly. There’s no line item for poor customer service, but nothing may have a greater impact on your bottom line than dissatisfied customers. Poor customer service dramatically causes loss of sales, decline of company reputation, lack of new customers and referrals, increased discounting, lower morale, higher turnover — all further perpetuating a poor customer experience. It’s imperative that every person in your company understands that your biggest expense is dissatisfied customers.

2. Intentionally train employees. Customer service and soft skills aren’t common sense. Companies must intentionally train employees to avoid the traps of a low service aptitude and to embrace the customer’s perspective. The best companies teach their employees to educate customers rather than sell to them. Doing that requires real commitment on the part of a company and someone to make sure that it’s followed up by action.

3. Make customer satisfaction the driving force throughout the organization.  It’s clear that developing a customer-obsessed organization extends well beyond your customer service team. It has to be the responsibility of every single department: human resources, training, marketing, support, sales, IT, finance, operations and, most importantly, leadership. Employee compensation needs to be as focused on customer retention — delivering world-class customer service – as it is on customer acquisition.

4. Reallocate advertising and marketing dollars to customer experience. Traditional branding is an old paradigm. Today, marketing is no longer in control of your brand — it’s now the customer who drives public perception through reviews and referrals. Companies weary of spending exorbitant amounts on advertising and marketing are now acknowledging the role of the customer and placing the marketing department under customer experience. Those doing have found that investing in the customer experience has a better return-on-investment than advertising.

5. Work to build repeat customers. A shortsighted obsession with constantly bringing in new customers to your business is significantly more expensive than building an incredible customer experience. Start asking yourself if you’re constantly offering incentives to new customers only. What about rewarding the customers who’ve been loyal and who do business with you regularly, or refer others to your firm? You ignore them at your peril. This is because repeat customers spend more than new customers, give higher satisfaction scores and give referrals more often than new customers.

In the Relationship Economy the primary currency is made up of the connections and trust among customers, employees and vendors that create significantly more value in what you sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevant and make your organization the one that customers can’t live without. Companies that flourish in the Relationship Economy will attract a higher percentage of clients who value doing business with a brand that demonstrates not only expertise, but also genuine caring.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | John DiJuliusJohn DiJulius is president of The DiJulius Group and a sought-after authority on world-class customer experience, working with companies such as The Ritz-Carlton, Lexus, Starbucks, Progressive Insurance and more. In his new book, The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age (Greenleaf, Oct. 8, 2019), he shows readers how to attain meaningful, lasting relationships with customers. Learn more at thedijuliusgroup.com.

Keeping Your Customers Happy Throughout The Festive Period

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Service|Keeping Your Customers Happy Throughout The Festive PeriodRunning an online business is a fantastic way to earn a living. Online shopping remains popular and the coming weeks are likely to be your busiest of the year. The festive period can be make or break for your business, as how you cope with the extra demand can have a significant impact on customers’ perceptions.

Word of mouth travels quickly, so the service you provide at this time should make a great impression. Customers will remember the service you gave and will be more likely to make a return visit in the New Year.

So how can you keep your customers happy throughout the festive period? Take a look at some of the following suggestions that will have you laughing all the way until the end of the year.

Make sure your website is fit for purpose

With more and more people doing their Christmas shopping online each year, you won’t want to miss out on sales. Making sure your website is up to scratch will ensure it doesn’t crash during busy periods and can cope with the demand.

Not only do you need your website to be fast and reliable, but it also needs to be secure. Get professional help securing your eCommerce website so that you can make sure all of your customers’ details stay safe.

Promotions can boost your sales, but proceed with caution

Over the festive period, online stores can go crazy with discounts. Not only is there Black Friday, but various cyber deals are rife at this time of year. It’s good to stay competitive, but while offering deals and discounts could boost your sales, it could cost your company money. Only run promotions you know that you can afford. While you’ll want to keep up with your competition, a reliable and efficient service can mean much more to some shoppers.

Put measures in place to limit mistakes

Mistakes can happen easily with online orders, but when it happens at Christmas, people can end up very disappointed and angry. Receiving the wrong size, color, or even the wrong item can cause misery that you’ll want to avoid for your customers. There should already be measures in place to limit mistakes with online orders, but at this time of year, you should think about introducing tougher checks.

If a mistake has happened, do everything you can to put it right. When it comes to dealing with angry customers, try to find a resolution that will keep them happy. You might need to provide a discount, refund shipping or even refund the order to help keep the customer happy. This is something to consider adding into your budget that you might not have thought about before.

Think about reducing your shipping

One thing that can determine whether a customer orders with you or with your competitor is shipping. Free shipping is a good incentive to order something, especially around the festive period, and could be worth investing in for your business – even if it is just during this period.

To help give you the best shipping costs, you need to ensure your weights are accurate. You can get scales at 1800scales.com in different sizes that are suitable for your products. Being able to provide the correct weight for your products could save you money on your shipping, allowing you to pass the savings onto your customers.

Increase your customer care efforts

Christmas is the time when many people decide to increase their customer care teams. Providing good customer service is important all year round, but with increasing sales and more pressure to get things right, it’s even more important to provide a great service at Christmas.

It’s important that customer queries are dealt with as soon as possible. When people have to wait for a response, that’s when they start taking to social media and review websites to air their concerns widely. While some customers can be difficult to deal with, it’s important to remain calm, friendly and polite if you want any hope of retaining them as a customer in the future.

Use social media to your advantage

The holidays are the perfect opportunity to do some great things with social media. From a stand-out Christmas campaign to being able to have some fun with your customers, you can use the excitement around the festive period to increase your followers and increase your profile.

Get yourself in the festive spirit by taking a look at some of the best Christmas campaigns. While you might not have a huge budget for your own campaign, it’s a great way to get some ideas and think about ways you can make a big splash at this time of year.

Reward your loyal customers

While attracting new customers and increasing your profits is important to drive sales at this time, you mustn’t forget about your existing customers. Show them that you value their loyalty by offering incentives such as discounts on an order, or a free gift. You can find some excellent ways to reward existing customers that can be affordable and impactful for your business. Even sharing their content on your social media channels can make them feel valued and appreciated.

Why not add a special touch such as sending a Christmas card or a small gift with your orders? Your customers will appreciate the surprise and it’s a lovely gesture to provide at this time of year.

Think ahead to sale time

While it can feel as though you’re just trying to survive the Christmas rush, it is important to think ahead to your plans after Christmas. Most stores launch sales on either Christmas eve or in the days after Christmas, which can take a lot of work to pull off. Your employees will be working hard over this period, so you might want to give everyone a few extra days to recover before you launch your sale.

A post-Christmas sale is a fantastic opportunity to clear out your old stock and get ready for the new year. Be smart with your pricing strategy and you could do well during the post-Christmas period and give your customers another great reason to shop with you.

Do something great for others

The holidays are a time for giving, and as a business, you’re in a position to give back to others to spread a little festive cheer. From providing monetary donations to charities to helping out in your local community, there are different ways your business can do something to help others at this time of year. You can highlight your efforts through your news page, your blog and across social media. It’s important to demonstrate that you’re a socially-responsible company, and encourage your customers to give up some of their time this Christmas too.

Have fun with it

The best thing about Christmas is to have fun with it! Christmas is a happy time of year, and it’s great to get into the festive spirit and enjoy it. Get your office/warehouse decorated, put on some Christmas music and get ready to get festive! Your office can be a fun place to be at this time of year, which will reflect in the way you handle your customers.

Christmas can be the busiest time of year for your business, but it’s important to keep your customers at the heart of what you do. It’s a great time to build trust with your customers and show them that you value their business and support. Make sure your Christmas plans are in place to deliver the best Christmas to your customers, and have the best Christmas for your business too.

Why You Need Effective Customer Relationship Management For Your Business

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | Why You Need Effective Customer Relationship Management For Your BusinessEvery business organisation exists for and because of its customers. It is for this reason that they have to keep creating, establishing, and maintaining healthy customer relationships. They can do this with an effective customer relationship management. Here are the reasons why CRM is good for your business:

Provides a Deeper Understanding of Customer Characteristics

An effective customer relationship management system can help your business learn more about your customers. Your knowledge of your customers can help your company design better products. It also improves the services that you provide to your customers.

Take for example Effective Logistics. They have a good understanding of the different needs and wants of their customers. They use this knowledge to customise their product offerings. They are also more proactive since they now have an idea of what their customers are looking for in such companies. You can visit Effective Logistics website to have an idea of what we mean.

An effective CRM can help you gain a better understanding of the reasons why they purchase your products. You can use this information to further improve on their buying experiences. Customer relationship management also gives you an idea of who your loyal customers are. You can then create a programme that will further increase their loyalty to your brand.

Your business is in a much better position to anticipate their needs. This is because you have an in-depth knowledge of who your customers are and what they want from you. You can start creating a solution to these perceived needs before they become actual necessities. If your business is proactive enough, more customers will want to stay loyal with your brand.

Improves the Efficiency of Your Business

There is one very important reason why many successful organisations always employ CRM in their operations. It can improve the overall efficiency of the business. Whether you want to admit it or not, your main concern is to drive the profitability of your company.

Having more customers can give you the profits that your business needs. However, you should also not overlook the importance of minimising, if not eliminating wastage. Customer relationship management systems can help you create a more efficient workflow for your employees. You will never waste time and resources on things that do not have an impact in the experiences of your customers.

CRM systems promote efficiency in businesses. It allows them to organise certain aspects of their operations. They can also use CRM information in the automation of different things. Business analytics, sales processes, and marketing campaigns can benefit a lot from the information generated by customer relationship management systems.

Streamlining the different processes can save a company a lot of time, effort, and resources. They can focus more on what really matters to customers. This minimises wastage, making your profits more significant.

Optimises Your Interactions with Your Customers

Your knowledge of your customers can give you the advantage of creating more meaningful interactions with them. Being proactive gives your customers the feeling that you are looking out for their welfare. You are always looking for more ways to improve their experiences with your products and services.

Your marketing and sales team can use CRM data to customise their interactions with customers. They are more knowledgeable. It gives the impression that you know what they want and that your business exists only for them.

Fosters Brand Loyalty

An effective customer relationship management system can help you build brand loyalty by providing customers with more remarkable experiences. You get to streamline the different processes that each customer has to go through. You make it easy for them to avail of your products and enjoy the different benefits that such products provide. You also get to reach out to at-risk accounts and be more proactive in addressing their concerns. This is one way you can dissuade them from turning their backs on your company.

Keeping your customers happy will make them very loyal followers. They will serve as brand ambassadors. They will tell their friends and acquaintances about their experiences with your company. Not only are you building brand loyalty; you are also expanding your customer base.

These things can translate into more revenues for your business. Think about this. If you can reduce customer defection rate by at least 5 percent, you have the chance to increase your profits by as much as 85 percent.

An effective customer relationship management can help your business achieve your bottom line. It strengthens the very foundation of your company. After all, a business without customers is not a business at all.

Are You Giving Your Customers What They Deserve?

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customers|Are You Giving Your Customers What They Deserve?Your customers are the backbone of your business. They make sure profit is trailing in and out of your company, and they help to make sure your website is ranked at the top of google, with the amount of traffic that flows in and out of your ecommerce option day by day. Indeed, you start a business with the sole aim of finding and obtaining customer loyalty, to find the market that your product suits the best, and to guarantee they come back again and again.

And if you feel that customer loyalty is in short supply around here, it’s time to look into one of the most potential reasons why: your customers feel they aren’t getting what they deserve. They come to you for a good experience and a great product, and a couple of their expectations are falling short. But why? Well, let’s examine the idea below.

Are Your Prices Right?

Your customers may feel they’re getting a better deal elsewhere, or they feel they have the potential to from taking just one look at the prices lining your shelves. They might feel you’re overselling your products, and they’re not getting value for money, and they might just hate you for it!

So it’s key to research the market you’re operating in as well as the local area you’ll be selling from. If you’re an online only store, you need to know your niche, and the common prices across it; you’ll need to try and match them, as closely as possible. And if you’ve got a physical location as well, make sure your prices don’t stick out like a sore thumb on the high street.

Are You Shipping on Time?

Your customers may feel they aren’t being treated right in the delivery process. They might feel it takes way too long to receive their packages, or they might feel that it costs a lot of money for something they’ve bought to be shipped out to them. Of course, unless you’re offering international delivery, your customers will likely find it steep for you to be charging more than $3 for national shipping.

You can get quite a nice discount deal with various shippers, if you’re worried about not being able to get costs down. Even using third party logistics companies could work well for you – navigating away from the mainstream delivery has a high chance of saving you some pennies, so don’t be afraid to use a different shipment company to get your products out there.

Are You Offering the Right Rewards?

Finally, your customers may feel their loyalty is unrewarded, and thus, they stop shopping with you and go somewhere they feel appreciated. And this could be solved with a simple rewards program! Money off coupons, free products upon collecting enough stamps, etc. These are all viable options to keep your market interested.

Make sure your customers are getting what they deserve from you. Guarantee a good experience and they’ll come back for more.

Ways That You Can Improve Your Customer Care With Technology

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|Ways That You Can Improve Your Customer Care With TechnologyWhen it comes to technology, there are a number of ways that it can benefit your company. You can use less paper – good for the environment and also for the state of your office! – and you can make a lot of processes within your office run a whole lot more efficiently. But it can also benefit your customers, thereby raising your standard of customer care. Here are a few tips on how you can do that…

You Can Provide Information Easily

Thankfully, technology has made it super easy to provide information to your customers. Your website is supposed to be your first online port of call, so make it a good one. It should be instantly clear what your product is and what it should be used for: don’t provide too much information on the first page, because people will zone out, but go into a more in depth explanation on your ‘About Us’ page. You should also make sure that you should use your site to show customers how they can easily get in contact with you through phone, email, and social media. You could also consider providing a postal address on there, although remember that if you don’t have a physical premises yet, a PO box is just fine.

You Can Give Them What They Actually Want

Using analytics software, it’s extremely easy to see what your customers want. You can see how they interact with your company through emails and newsletters that you send out, through your social media feeds, through your app, through your website, through your blog… the list is endless. You can use the data that you collect to analyse what your customers prefer, meaning that you can provide more of that to them instead of irrelevant and boring information that will annoy and frustrate them. Figuring out what the customers want means that you can provide this information to your sales team, who will be able to target them and provide them with the exact services and products that they actually desire.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|Ways That You Can Improve Your Customer Care With TechnologyYou Can Connect With Them Over Social Media

Social media has made building a relationship with your clients easier than it ever has been before. You need to consider exactly what sort of company voice you want to use: a lot of businesses settle on a business-like but friendly tone, but if you’re aiming at a younger market then you could also look into hiring a social media expert who speaks the language of memes and emojis in a way that can connect to younger people. You can demonstrate through your social media that you answer questions, that you’re always available, and that you provide simple solutions to any problems that people might have. Keep calm, don’t interact with trolls, and make sure that you post regularly.

You Can Keep Their Data Secure

Security is something that is hugely important to everyone, and technology can thankfully help to make sure that data is stored in a secure way, rather than on paper in filing cabinets in your office. You can encrypt data, password protect it, and make sure that only certain people can access it. This is particularly important when it comes to personal information like contact addresses and numbers, and even more so, payment methods.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article |Customer Care|Ways That You Can Improve Your Customer Care With TechnologyYou Can Outsource To Speciality Companies

Not everyone is completely adept at using technology, and if that sounds familiar, remember there’s absolutely no shame in outsourcing. A copywriter for your website blog is a great idea, a social media expert for your Twitter feed, and an IT company to run your IT services. It’s a good idea to hire a company that’s specific to the field that you work in: for example, a healthcare IT expert will have different skills from a company that’s used to running small online stores. Outsourcing can be difficult if you’re used to running a company mostly by yourself, but remember that you didn’t start your business to struggle with computers, with payroll, with other aspects of the business that you can’t quite get your head around – there’s no shame in enlisting experts to make those aspects of your company as good as possible.

You Can Ask For Their Opinions

Technology makes it incredibly easy to ask your customers for their opinions. You can post polls on Instagram to see what lipstick shade you could bring out, or you could make it more serious and send out surveys to see how your customer service is rated after people buy products and services from you.

It’s never been easier to build great relationships with your customers – technology has made it incredibly fast and simple to reach out to people and to provide them with what they need.