Thursday, September 13, 2012

CRM : Unconventional But Effective Ways

Copyright (c) 2012 Swaroop Venkata

Hello friends!

I am a consultant and a small time blogger.

A few days ago, I had enlisted Best ways and means for your Business as far as Loyalty Programs are concerned. In this post, I will try to draw out some unconventional CRM strategies for touching base customers. All of these are tried and tested and have proven to give that extra edge to a certain project.

Most small business owners think customer relationship management is all about providing great customer service and managing your customers and projects as best you can. Although this is one of the ways to maintain great customer relations, this isn't the only one.

CRM is much more than good account management. It involves touching base with customers at every junction, right from when they are fresh clients to when they are using your services or products to when they have become unresponsive. Thus, CRM is an endeavour that spans through the life duration of every client relationship.

And this is exactly why it is so difficult for small businesses to maintain a consistent CRM program that is always up and running on all grounds. This is a key aspect that small business owners loose on business relationship management where they fall back since they have lots of other stuff to look into besides calling up all their fence sitting customers and getting them back on the track or shooting off regular correspondence to simply stay at the front of their mind. This business relationship management is a task for inarguably all small business owners or entrepreneurs.

Not to worry, friends, because here are some easy ways you can stay top-of-mind and in touch with your current and past customers.

1. Creative Billing:

Emotions related to an invoice are inversely proportionate with the folder in which they are. This is a simple law that I can apply across all businesses small or large. We all hate to receive invoices and we all love when an invoice is sent. We should realize, our clients feel this way, too. Yes, we all groan when we see an invoice and slyly peek inside, hoping it is less than it actually is. So why not make this difficult experience a bit warmer and less dread-inducing for your clients.

Representing an agency for customer relationship management services, I would strongly advice to try this out.

Scribble a quick post-it note thanking your clients or with a warm message and affix it to the invoice.

You can also get really creative by having custom fortune cookie fortunes printed up and slipping a fun or idiosyncratic fortune into each invoice.

These will result in that small smile the receiver will have and will remind them why they like to do business with you.

2. "How Can We Improve" Calls:

Companies offering Relationship Management Services often suggest companies to send out long, impersonal e-surveys to customers to determine their level of satisfaction. They try to defend this while saying that customers appreciate the effort and respond which in turn helps the business. Trust me, most of the time such mails are ignored by clients since they already have too much on their plate.

Instead I suggest a simple strategy, call up your clients twice a year and just ask them one simple question: What is the one biggest thing we can do to improve our service towards you.

This will work great on several levels.

It gives you a reason to reach out to current clients as well as those who may have fallen out of touch.

It gives you an excuse to engage in some small-talk and find out their current needs for your products/services.

You can find out some very interesting information that will directly benefit your business.

It makes your client feel good that you care about what they think and that you value the relationship.

It takes very little of your and their time.

3. Thank You:

Now a Thank You can take you a long way in Business Relationship Management. Think about the last time you received a sincere, stand-alone thank you. Usually a thank you is a pleasantry along with an invoice or a follow-up email as an afterthought. These thank yours are never heartfelt and hence are not considered so by the client either.

So the next time you finish up a project with a client or finalize a big order, first send that invoice or follow-up email. And then send another note or email with a personalized salutation rather than 'To Whomsoever it May Concern' or 'Sales Team', that simply says "Thank You" in the subject line and then provides a short paragraph or two about how much you really do appreciate their service.

Better yet, personalize it with something related to the project or transaction. You may not hear anything in return, but you will certainly be heard.

So friends good luck and I will keep you posted. Check this space for more!!!

HCRM Services Mumbai offering Relationship Management Services often suggest companies to send out long, impersonal e-surveys to customers to determine their level of satisfaction.Go now to find out more.

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