With all the most recent bells and whistles, with all the new gadgets and trends, online retail marketing is still about two fundamentals.
How many vendor emails did you receive this morning? How many messages are filling your voicemail? Sometimes someone will get lucky and catch you at the right time, but more often than not, you'll research companies and contact them on your terms when your business requires service.
Customer service was once overshadowed by product selection, availability and price. Today, as customer care continues to be the point of brand differentiation, business leaders are laser-focused the importance of excellent service experiences and retaining existing customers. As a result, organizations in every industry are working to improve the quality and relevance of customer interactions.
I just returned from a very good conference, and on the second night of the event I found myself at a table sitting next to that most elusive but cocksure figure, the self-proclaimed "King of CRM."
A recent article in a trade publication likened the inbox to a battlefield, and that image isn't very far off the mark. Email marketing is becoming more and more attractive to marketers as other means of reaching prospects and customers are either disappearing or are shown to be ineffective and/or overpriced. Email marketing, on the other hand, is growing by leaps and bounds, energized by the new emphasis on mobile devices and delivering the best ROI available.
In today's economy, people want to obtain the most value for their money: special offers, buy-one-get-one-free sales and websites dedicated to deals and steals abound. I can't even imagine my inbox without daily emails from Groupon or Living Social. However, even amid all of this cost-conscious activity, companies are still up-charging their clients for premium services.
Several years ago, I bought my wife a new smartphone for her birthday. While her original reaction implied disappointment and disinterest, it didn't take long for this feature-rich phone to become an integral part of her everyday life. Recently, the on-off button stopped working and now her phone is always on. We decided it was time to upgrade. At the same time, I noticed a full-page ad in Time magazine for a great deal on a new phone with unlimited voice, data and text package. The next day, my wife enthusiastically went to the nearest retail branch to inquire with ...
Okay, sure I admit it. I added the "Sharknado" name to my column purely for the shock value and hope of trolling for clicks. However, unless you have been buried in scandals du-jour emanating from politicians far and wide you have no doubt heard a little something about "Sharknado."
In a book I wrote several years ago, I talked about the Internet moving at the speed of thought. It was true then, and it's even more accurate today: Think about doing or wanting or needing something, and someone will say, "There's an app for that!"
I have written several CRM articles detailing technologies and strategies for improving customer relationship management (CRM) including the use of webcasting, ways to improve your brand website and conference presentations. However, it may be important to take a step back, and address the fact that CRM really begins with your employees.