Today’s marketplace is a digital one, regardless of what industry you’re in. From the healthcare industry to B2B sales, a significant amount of business is done digitally, and the same is true when it comes to interacting with your customers. Whether your target customer base is regional or international, you’re going to need to adapt to a technology-based customer interaction technique to foster meaningful, loyal relationships.
Unless you’re already leveraging technology on a daily basis, making the leap to technology-centric customer interactions may not be as easy as it sounds. If you’re struggling to bridge the gap between your face to face customer interactions and your digital ones, here’s how you can use technology to manage your customer relationships.
Communicating with Customers
Having consistent communication with your customers is crucial when thinking about creating customer loyalty. Your customers shouldn’t only feel valued when they’re purchasing a product or service from your business. Consistency is key, and whether you communicate through regular email updates or your social media posts, technology allows you to connect with your existing customers and reach new customers across your market.
Email and Chat
Consumers are shifting away from preferring phone support when buying a product or needing help with a concern and are turning toward digitally-based communication methods. Companies that don’t utilize email support and live chat support may not be meeting their customers where they want to do business, which can be detrimental when trying to build strong customer relationships.
Email and chat communication can be a fast and effective way to communicate with your customers that don’t have enough time to commit to a phone conversation. By simply offering multiple channels of communication for your customers, your customers will often appreciate the convenience with increased loyalty.
Social Media Interactions
Social media is another fantastic tool that so many small businesses fail to utilize. With billions of social media users active every single day, using social media to promote your brand, connect with customers, and build customer relationships should be an essential part of your marketing toolkit.
Just check out some of these mindblowing social media statistics from Hootsuite. As a business looking to be successful online, you don’t need to master every form of social media. In fact, if you stretch your social media presence too thin across too many forms of social media, you may not see strong engagement from your customers.Pick one or two social media platforms to leverage your brand and foster customer engagement. If your company has a strong visual representation, Instagram might be a good option. If you want short-form content and a forum-style engagement with the option for on-the-fly instant messaging, you might want to start with Facebook. Understanding your customers and your market will help guide your social media development.
Collecting Consumer Data
Consumer data collection can be as simple as collecting lead information on your website or as complex and in-depth as surveys and round tables. The best part about leveraging technology to manage your customer relationships is that there truly is no limit to what you can do. Consumer data is vital for growing your customer base, adapting to your changing marketplace, and understanding your customers’ wants and needs when it comes to your products and services.
Exit-intent campaign strategies are an effective way to capture potential lead information on your website. You’ve probably seen them – as you move your cursor to close out of the page, a pop-up appears on the page offering you a special discount, a promotion, or a freebie if you enter your information or complete your purchase.
Exit-intent campaigns have proven to turn passive shoppers into active customers, and even if you’re offering a free digital download in exchange for an email address (which is highly effective and doesn’t cost you a thing), collecting the information may lead to a future sale.
If you’re a new business that needs to quickly grow a customer base organically, an email list is the first strategy you should focus on. With an exit-intent campaign or a simple newsletter option on your landing page, you’ll begin to collect email addresses that you can send regular communications to in order to promote your brand, products, and services. Sending out content that is relevant and valuable creates strong, loyal readership month over month.
Customer Relationship Management Software
It may be necessary to implement customer relationship management software (CRM) to scale your business. A robust CRM will allow you to analyze your customer data and adapt your strategies and promotions accordingly. There are countless CRM options out there depending on your business needs, allowing you to select the kind of data and insights your business wants to leverage.
CRM software packages can be as simple as digital customer loyalty programs to software that manages the entire customer lifecycle. Small businesses would benefit from a software that can streamline and automate as much of the data collection and analysis as possible, allowing small business owners to focus on creating strong customer relationships during each interaction.
Analyzing the Data and Adapting to It
Whether you use traditional data collection methods such as your transaction ledgers or post-purchase surveys, or implement a sophisticated CRM program to scale your customer data collection and analysis, the information you collect is going to be the foundation of your business development and future success. Understanding the information that you’ve collected and adapting to those findings are two key steps that can help propel your business into the future.
Take your time when reviewing consumer data. Work with your employees to view the data from various perspectives. Use the data to make meaningful changes in your business. If you’re collecting data such as purchasing trends, customer satisfaction surveys, and market trends without using that information, you’re wasting everyone’s time.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use technology to efficiently manage your customer relationships. What are some of the ways you use technology to create great relationships with your customers in your business? Let us know in the comments!
Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.