How to implement a customer relationship management strategy
Customer relationship management is vital in helping marketers evaluate the output of their marketing functions. The breakdown of the marketing cycle into stages will go great lengths in evaluating each of these stages to not only aid in relating with your customers, both prospective and existing ones, but also to help you analyze at which stage of the marketing process you excel best and which stage needs improving on your part. To implement this essential model can take different ways, but this article is meant to help the marketer who has a limited budget that cannot allow sophisticated automation or subscription to a customer relationship application, by explaining what basic details of their marketing functions can be noted either on a notebook or on simple spreadsheet application that could go a great deal in achieving the goals of having a healthy customer relationship. We will look at the basic components that need to be taken into consideration.
1. Contact details-these are the basic details that a marketer requires to have about every prospect that manifests the potential of becoming a customer. In addition to the name, details such as the company they work for, designation, contact details both personal and employer’s ranging from phone numbers, emails, postal and physical address. Attributes and hobbies of the prospect of the client can also be included as a way of getting to understand more about them.
2. Contact log-using the list of prospective clients, the contact log should contain information about the date that a prospect was contacted, the method used to contact either by phone or by email and the purpose for which contact was made. The contact log should then explain the outcome or feedback obtained from the prospect and the appropriate course of action to be taken in the next step of dealing with the prospect.
3. Sales log- you will get to this step if the previous step had some positive feedback, otherwise it would have not reached to this stage. Details that are crucial to record in this stage are the date when sale took place, the prospect who became a customer, the service or product that was sold to them, the amount paid for the product or service as well as the receipt and invoice numbers that resulted from that sale and reference notes that will act as guide to understanding the customer with the aim of retaining them.
4. Customer relationship log-this stage encapsulates the above three stages into a presentation mode that helps the marketer to clearly understand the journey taken right from the time of customer acquisition, the contacts made, sales estimate both closed or expected, date of last contact and the action that is expected to follow, the likelihood of conversion from a prospect to a customer and the source from which the customer details were obtained. In advanced processes this acts as means towards achieving a unified customer profile.
With the above guidelines you can formulate a customer relationship strategy that will contain contacts of both prospects and paying customers. It should also contain lead sources which is a way of establishing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and the channels that are best effective in obtaining prospects, transaction estimates as means to evaluating how important that prospect should be handled. Lastly it should include the contact history showing the next action that should be taken in the customer acquisition process. These details constitute a basic outlay of how customer relationship can be handled and can be improved upon to cater for much more but feel free to start from these basic steps.