Understanding the importance of customer management
One of the most crucial aspects of managing a business is being able to manage your relationships with your customers. Regardless of whether you provide a product or a service, you need to have the ability to understand the needs and expectations of your customers. You also need to be able to either meet or manage those expectations. Engaging in effective customer management will drive the growth of your business by allowing you to retain existing customers and bring in new ones. But what is customer management? And how can you leverage it so that it works for you? In this article, we’ll look at each of these things one after another.
What is customer management?
In today’s incredibly connected world, there are multiple points of interaction between a business and a customer. You might talk to your clientele over the phone, or they may walk into one of your stores. They may even find you on social media! You need to make sure that you give them the best possible service in every one of these spaces.
Good customer service will help you build brand loyalty leading to an established reputation. This is the importance of customer management. It is important to remember that a customer’s journey with you does not end once they have purchased a product or service. They may have complaints that you need to address. They may even want to return or exchange some products. If you can manage these interactions without too much friction, your customers will be satisfied and will likely recommend your brand to their friends and family.
How can you manage your customers effectively?
For efficient and effective customer management, you first have to understand the journey that your customers take with you. This journey begins long before they make a purchase and – as we mentioned earlier – doesn’t stop there. The first interaction a customer has with your brand might be nothing more than a glimpse of a graphic as they scroll through their Instagram feed. Or maybe they see a piece of clothing that catches their eye and they end up spending some time window shopping. There’s no way to control this first interaction, but you can take note of some common touchpoints and then create a map of their journey. The better you understand your customers, the easier it will be to craft a smooth path for them.
There are three different categories of consumer touchpoints:
1. Before a purchase
At the start of your customer’s journey, your goal is to attract your target audience, who may not yet know that you exist. In today’s digital world, the internet is one of the most common ways in which consumers find out about a brand. Social media is one of the spaces you can use to catch the attention of your target audience. Additionally, online advertisements and digital marketing content can help you draw in customers. Since this is the first impression you make on most people, you must ensure that your content accurately represents your brand.
2. During a purchase
When someone shows interest in a product, you want to ensure they go through with the purchase. This means that they need to have a hassle-free experience while they make their decision. The touchpoints that play a role are primarily product catalogs and reviews. You want to ensure you have a detailed but comprehensible description of your product or service, along with clear images. In some cases the prospective customer might also want to talk to a salesperson or a company representative. You want to make sure that your employees are trained well because these conversations can have an immediate impact on the customer’s decision.
3. After a purchase
Customer management is just as important after a customer makes a purchase. You still have to maintain contact with your customers to let them know that they are important to you. A great way to do this is to send out a thank you to them. This can be in the form of an email or even a handwritten note.
Another thing to do is to ask your customers for feedback. This is especially important for those customers who leave a negative review. If you reach out to them to learn more about their dissatisfaction, they will know that you care about your client’s needs and are actively working to do a better job. Of course, you should also take their feedback seriously and make changes to your product or service – as long as their concerns are valid. As your customers journey with you, you will learn what works for them, and what doesn’t. You will start to see patterns in customer behavior and find that some of your tasks are becoming repetitive. As your business grows, you will get busier and busier, and you will probably be looking for ways in which you can save some time.
Investing in customer management software can help you automate repetitive tasks.
Such software is also called CRM software (CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management) and can help you with other aspects of customer management as well. A CRM will gather and store all relevant customer information – like purchase records and demographics – in a database that can be made easily accessible to anyone in your company who needs it. This makes it much easier for your employees to provide better customer service. Sales representatives will know if a customer has previously interacted with your brand, and can use this information to tailor their marketing efforts and sales pitches. CRM software usually also provides you with analytic capabilities that can break down the vast amounts of data you gather into actionable items.
For example, you can use an automated sales report to better forecast for the future. This will help you to adjust your goals and make sure they are realistic. It would be a wise move to use your CRM software in conjunction with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) so that you can streamline both your front-end and back-end processes.
If you need help with customer management
iTrobes is the place for you. We provide digital transformation services all over the world. We have a strong understanding of the benefits of customer management, and we will work closely with you to build a system that works for you. Contact us today to get started!