In an environment hyper-focused on the customer journey and gold standard retention, it's more important than ever to revisit your current practices and policies to ensure they are fully optimized. The following 15 customer relationship management best practices will help you hone in on each touchpoint to help keep your customer base and business thriving.
Train your workforce well
Your customers are your company’s lifeblood. You need a workforce that not only understands that, but also adheres to your values, culture, and commitment to your customers. Rather than create a standard training slideshow presentation, tell real customer stories that relate to the company’s values, culture, and commitment. Share stories that highlight successes and failures. Ensure your team understands the do’s and don’ts, and when to ask for help while navigating difficult situations.
Once you’ve trained your workforce, create accountability guidelines to keep everyone on the same page. Draw up a contract with the discussed expectations, procedures, and guidelines. Make sure you include possible consequences when employees fall short of their commitment.
Rely on customer touchpoint automation
Today’s customer relationship management platforms, and available extensions, like PowerChord’s lead distribution and management platform, come with a host of customer touchpoint automation features. Use them. All of them. Automation saves your team time, while still ensuring your customers are being nurtured. Automate birthday and holiday cards. Automate periodic check-ins. Automate newsletters and anything else relevant to your company. Automate, automate, automate!
Rely on workforce touchpoint automation
Automation shouldn’t stop with customers, lean on your CRM and extensions to automate workforce reminders and accountability check-ins. For example, PowerChord’s most popular workforce automation features include SMS and email lead notifications, One-click action sales funnel updates, and nudge emails for reps when a lead or customer goes untouched for a specific amount of time. Depending on how robust your CRM and extensions are, you may be surprised by the number of automation options available.
Focus on collaboration
Having a cutthroat sales force is only good when you are in working in turn-and-burn cash-is-King industries where customer relationship management isn’t the focus. Nurturing a culture that encourages team collaboration, supporting each other, and their customers will go a long way towards meeting retention goals. Foster collaboration and team-building regularly. A strong team retains your customers. A happy family-style team retains your workforce.
Mine the data
Having the ability to measure your current business practices, and pivot when needed to improve those practices, is a key game changer for any business. There are many different types of analytics that can be used to measure and improve business practices. Website analytics provide a clear real-time picture of how the company’s digital footprint is performing, and where there may be areas for improvement. Lead analytics offer insights into your current sales cycle and customer journey. Sales analytics help with forecasts and benchmarking future plans and quotas. Social media analytics tell how well a campaign is performing with the target market. The key here is knowing what the data-point measurements mean and how to apply them to improve your business.
Make data-driven decisions
Once you’ve mined the data, look for opportunities to improve customer experience. Is there a feature of your product or service not being utilized? Do your customers struggle during certain areas of onboarding? Are you seeing customer retention numbers declining? By keeping your finger on the pulse of your data, you can in turn keep your finger on the pulse of your customers to make proactive changes as soon as possible.
Adapt with changes
One of the most notable changes to the business environment throughout the pandemic is the hyper-focus on optimizing the customer journey. A great example is the implementation of curbside pick-up and delivery options from businesses that had never offered either. How can you adapt to the current environment to better your customer experience?
Ensure ease of use and provide training to enhance user adoption
If your product or service has a hefty learning curve, hopefully, you have already taken every necessary step to minimize the curve and manage customer expectations. Whatever you do, do not lie to your customer about the learning curve! Manage their expectations and the length and time needed for training,
Always update customer information
A stale CRM is a disservice to all involved. Ensure all customer information is up to date and accurate. The last thing you want to do is send a holiday gift to the wrong address, congratulate a customer on an anniversary after a recent divorce.
Use purchasing history for upselling opportunities
Mine all of your sales history for upselling trends to better understand your upselling potential and to which type of customer.
Marry your marketing and sales data
Do not allow your sales and marketing team leads to work in separate silos. Communication and collaboration should freely flow between the departments. How can marketing help sales and vice-versa? Have a weekly or bi-weekly meeting of the minds.
Create your recipe for customer success
Who are your best customers? Why? What did it take to get them to that point? What will it take to get more customers to achieve the best customer status? time? nurturing? custom scalability?
Customer appreciation incentives
Creating a customer appreciation program will go a long way towards retaining your customer base. Implement frequent purchase programs, referral rewards, or any other program that would best fit your business.
Be more than an account manager, be a friend
Ensure your customers feel like you are not only listening but are actively involved in their account and will go the distance to ensure they are happy. The last thing you want is to lose a customer over something fixable but it’s too late to change.
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15 Customer Relationship Management Best Practices to Keep Business Thriving
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