Monday April 20, 2015 0 comments
There are three things small business owners need from a software solution to maximize engagement with customers: Automation, personalization and integration.
Automation ensures that you have amazing response time, follow-up, and availability. The digital world moves fast, and many customers make decisions based on the speed of follow-up.
Automating tasks also allows you to practice better task chunking – that is, doing similar tasks together in chunks. For example, if you automate your emails, you might create all the month’s different emails, coupons, promotions, and newsletters on one day. You’d then schedule them to go out throughout the month. Chunking, rather than switching from task to task, helps you get into a state of flow, where you’re able to work most productively.
Here are some ideas for how you can automate some of your marketing tasks:
- Automated email responses to lead boxes
- Scheduled newsletters, blog posts, and promotional emails
- Callback reminders and recurring task reminders
Personalization means reaching out with a human voice, and directing your efforts to your customers as individuals. It’s all about developing an authentic, lasting relationship.
Most people gravitate towards relationships that make them feel valued. By ensuring that your customers feel individual and special, you improve the chances of that relationship lasting long term.
Here are some tips for making your customers feel valued:
- Remember their name and details about them
- Understand their pain points, goals, and fears
- Frequent, personal follow-up
- Set up an efficient sales pipeline to meet their needs quickly
- Empower your employees to give great customer support by keeping them well-informed
A small business or startup can manage most of these things by hand or with spreadsheets when they’re getting started, but as the business grows it gets more difficult. Customer service is often put on the back burner as a company grows, because it can be difficult to scale up.
Using a CRM can help you keep all your customer information and history, as well as your sales pipeline, in one easily-accessible location. Making the information available to your whole team enables them to most efficiently support customers.
For example, AllProWebTools offers a tool called the Workflow Timeline, a live feed of business updates that includes all internal client notes, new leads, new orders, and project status. It updates in real time, and all employees have access to it. We’ve found that it helps us address customer support issues quickly, easily get a sense of a customer’s history with our company, and keep our messaging consistent no matter who talks to a customer.
Integration allows you to more effectively measure your results. If all your external communication tools (website, customer relationship manager database, emails, and other marketing campaigns) can share data, you can get much more detailed, accurate, and actionable reports.
Here are some benefits of tracking marketing campaigns from an integrated platform:
- Email analytics show how many website visits, leads, and sales in dollars result from each campaign – rather than just click-throughs
- Tracking URLs show how site visitors interact with the site after clicking to it, including what they’re searching for, carts filled, and more
- SEO and landing page position easy to monitor, with event tracker to show what actions caused what results
Hone your strategy by gathering data from each email you send, as well as all social media posts, external content, and anywhere else you link to your site. You should be using tracking URLs to check open rates, click-throughs, and how recipients interact with your website after clicking through.
Customers can always tell when any kind of outreach doesn’t have their best interest at heart. Particularly when following up with customers or potential customers, the most important thing to keep in mind is being selfless. This means all your external communications, from marketing to sales to customer service and beyond, should first and foremost add value to the customer.
Using CRM software to automate, personalize, and integrate your customer relationships enables you to focus on adding value. It’s much more productive than focusing on remembering to follow up or struggling to understand data. You’ll appreciate the extra time, and your customers will appreciate the extra attention.