CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is currently my favorite subject to dive into and study. This is the core system in any business that needs to be cranking on all cylinders, but sadly enough it usually isn’t even thought about.
The essence of why we do business goes beyond finding a need and filling it, for a profit, it’s about establishing relationships built on trust. The more someone trusts you and what you are about the more willing they will be to do business with you. Also, the trust-based relationships with your clients will lead to referrals. Any businessman/marketer worth his salt knows that the key to growing any company is REFERRALS.
But before you establish a relationship and before you instill even a remote amount of trust with your potential client there must be a system in place to help foster the relationship. This is where my new favorite study comes in, CRM! How you acquire and catalogue relationships and what types of touch-points and how often you reach out make up the structure of your CRM program.
Established relationships with every client need to be fostered to their fullest extent. It goes deeper than just wanting them to referer their friends or colleagues, it’s about having a brand that truly connects on a one-to-one level. That is the point, you want to reach out to your current and past customers one-on-one. A personal touch-point that addresses them on a their level.
The way our society and especially technology is headed we may never end up truly communicating with people because everyone is so distracted by so many messages. The influx of information we all receive on a daily basis is becoming overwhelming. But in spite of all this, true entrepreneurs and marketers must not lose connection with their clients. We must find a way to fight through the overcrowded mediums of communication and make personal connections. It is not something we should do, or something that sounds like a good idea, it is imperative if we are to run viable businesses!
The issue of overcrowded media outlets transitions perfectly into my last concern. In CRM systems like just about everything else in life, You get out what you put in!. There are a million and one online CRM systems that help you organize, strategize and implement a plethora of different things in regards to customer data. They are terrific, don’t get me wrong, I use a couple of programs myself and I love them with a passion, but none of them are a one stop shop to deep/meaningful customer relationships!
It is all about how active you are in making personal connections with each of your clients. These systems are great at organizing and giving you promptings to do things, but it comes down to YOU and how far you are willing to go to personalize your message to each person.
Bottom line: People want personal connections, not mass media messages, and it is up to YOU and your brand to establish and foster these connections!