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Customer Engagement

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When selling products or services to a client it is viewed by many that ‘that’s it, job done and lets all celebrate’. The truth is, to remain top of mind and competitive in a crowded market place, the sale is just the beginning and we have to engage with our customers on an on-going basis. However, there are key points to remember so your communications don’t become bookmarks or simply deleted! 

It could be product updates, new product launches, discount offers, value added services or even spending vital marketing funds on simple messages such as ‘happy birthday’! The truth is – the latter, whilst difficult to track ROI on a single message, it will more than likely put you on a road to building long term sustainable relationships with your customers, rather than trying to directly ‘sell’ in most of your communications without the knowledge of what is relevant to your customers on a personal level. Of course, product news and the latest ‘mod con’ advertising has its place and objective in the marketing plan, but recognising customers through events in their life, starting with their birthday will help you to build a profile of your customers above and beyond what they have purchased, to an understanding of what they are likely to purchase and what segment of customer group they fall into. 

Strategies such as this are just the beginning of a new journey and will help create an emotional stickiness that will improve your ROI on cross selling and up-selling new products to them later on.  Many global brands have had such marketing activity in place for years so should be considered ‘hygiene’ in developing a robust CRM plan.

The important factors when developing a CRM strategy is to be a) consistent, b) relevant and c) true to you brand values in your communications. It’s also the level of engagement you adopt with your customers, which must be carefully calculated so that you are not spamming them (i.e. sending emails which are not relevant to them and therefore not giving your customers value). 

My favourite band, Chickenfoot, is a good example of positive engagement – they manage this by providing me with an App! They send me emails I subscribed to (more often than not I don’t have time to read them), but their App on my smart phone always gets my engagement when it’s convenient – plus all their news is on there – tour news, new music and merchandise updates etc. They even take ‘fan photos’ from their tour and post them on their social network site as ‘fan pick of the day’ before thanking their fans directly – now that’s an innovative way to engage whilst building an emotive bond with their customers!

A closing point to re-emphasise this post…. building a profile around your customer’s personal preferences, alongside their transaction history, will enable you to build long term relationships and ensure your engagement strategy hits the right notes that result in: more frequent purchases, a brand perceived as that which offers greater value  and happier, more engaged customers!

Do you think there is a lack of innovation in your sector for appealing engagement tools or do you suffer with a lack of data which is making life tough to move forward?

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