Expanding CRM to Create a Delightful Customer Experience
The overall goal of any company is to increase revenue through growing the customer base or by selling more to the existing customers. You may have heard discussions around organizations creating a customer-centric culture. Then you have CRM, CX, CEM, CLTV and more alphabet soup that just seems to confuse and complicate the process. But how can firms truly build loyal customers that promote products and services?
The CRM Issue
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management” but it tends to solely focus on tools and tactics that help convert leads to a sale. Although these tools are often essential, they tend to be narrowly focused on closing deals instead of truly developing lasting relationships with individuals. Attempting to build a customer focused culture requires that CRM be taken out of its box as a sales transaction technology. CRM must be woven throughout the entire customer experience and the various business operations. Today’s customers are demanding more personalized human experiences and those companies that get it right are rewarded with brand enthusiasts that promote products and services on your behalf.
HubSpot’s Inbound Methodology breaks up the customer’s buyer experience into the above stages. If you are unfamiliar with the Inbound Methodology, please review Why do you and your Business Need Inbound Methodology? or 6 Reasons Why Inbound Is Best Marketing is primarily responsible for the Attract and Convert stages while Sales is primarily responsible for Close. However, it is a bit unclear who is the lead on Delight. Even more importantly, is Delight only after a lead becomes a customer?
What is Delight and Why is it Important?
The term delight is used to refer to providing customers with an outstanding or surprisingly positive experience focused on their needs, interests, and wishes that helps build brand loyalty. Here is where CX and CEM, or “Customer Experience” and “Customer Experience Management”, come into play. When customers have a valuable experience with a brand they become loyal customers and brand promoters. Their lifetime value (CLTV) increases as they buy more or serve as an extension to your marketing team in attracting strangers to your offering (as demonstrated by the purple line in the following image.) It is also generally known that it is less costly to maintain customers than to acquire new ones. However, delighting prospects and customers should take place throughout the entire process and be done by both Marketing and Sales. Take a look at aligning marketing and sales to increase revenues, how to overcome misalignment, or download HubSpot’s complete guide on creating alignment to learn more bringing those 2 departments together (Unifying Sales and Marketing).
CRM then becomes the enablement technology that’s provides useful insightful information throughout the stages. Moreover, the customer experience should be consistent at every touchpoint making a CRM tool that transcends Sales even more critical. The information can then be shared by all allowing learnings from the convert and close stages to be looped back to the beginning for appropriate adjustments to be made to the customer’s path. It can help coordinate activities and interactions with prospects keeping all parties on the same page and projecting a single, clear message. Interactions will be more targeted and contextual. The methodology should then be adjusted as such.
An integrated CRM system can provide insights into the customer journey and the best strategy to align activities to delight prospects in all stages. Here are just a few ways this can work:
- Marketing automation simplifies content distribution and performance tracking (down to the individual). Testing of concepts, creative formats, distribution channels, and messages to determine which is converting. Knowing which content format and channel will work best for engagement allows campaigns to be optimized so messages are more likely to be received and cause prospects to act.
- Aids in lead qualification by using intelligence from website interaction, lead activity, social signals, demographics, and more to determine how ready a lead is and what actions should be taken to nurture the relationship.
- Sales automation integrates pricing and customer history to reduce errors and guide future proposals (cross-sell or upsells).
- Customer interactions can be managed across various channels (voice, text, email, social, website, etc.) to reduce resolution times and increase customer satisfaction.
When CRM is part of all operations it makes delighting customers and building brand loyalty easy which translates to more revenue. To take this discussion further, “Beyond the Sale: 4 Ways to Create Delight” gives examples of customer delight. Moreover, learn from a company that did a wonderful job delighting thus built an empire of brand loyalists - "A Case Study: Customer Delight and Brand Loyalty".
Image by Gerd Altmann at pixabay.com
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