Checkmate – CRM Meets the Pandemic
The pandemic has drastically evolved consumer expectations by exacerbating what was already a hustle for higher quality services, more speed, more acknowledgment, and overall richer experiences. Either a business continued to scramble playing catchup to stay relevant or pivoted to accommodate newly evolved customer demands, or began to lose traction – ultimately failing.
Once the transactional needs of consumers were met in 2020, as people turned to Amazon for multiple daily orders and deliveries, there arose a void and newfound craving for interactive connection. The instant gratification of daily packages became too easy and new three-dimensional expectations around the post-purchase experience arose.
Importance of Customer Service
The single most neglected component across many industries is customer service. Before the pandemic, a typical manufacturer was concerned with raw materials, schedules, orders, and delivery. During the pandemic, demand for products skyrocketed and personal service offerings plummeted – grocery stores surged, while yoga studios closed. The consumer shift from not being able to receive service-based offerings transmuted into a demand for ‘customer service’ when procuring tangible items. People had more time and greater expectations around the interactions they had with businesses, partly because they were craving deeper socialization wherever it could be found.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell widgets or subscriptions, you had better be doing it with more interactivity, with more smiles, and with better service than your competition. To the consumer starved of interaction, it matters less if your product is top of the line when your competition offers a richer social experience.
Your Business Must be Better, Faster, and Smarter about Everything
Your business must be better, faster, and smarter about everything. Your competition is employing the latest technology to streamline their management of customer relationships, and perhaps you are a few years behind. Not only do you need to have the best product, the best delivery, and the best customer service – you also need to do it with an unfaltering willingness, and a crystal ball prediction of what your customer wants next. And whilst competition is wonderful for business because it validates and catalyzes industries – it’s not so good if you’re trailing the pack or are ignoring the trends.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The solution is surprisingly simple. A state-of-the-art, appropriately configured customer relationship management (CRM) system. After fulfillment, your biggest sales expense is customer acquisition, followed by customer retainage. It’s infinitely easier and more cost-effective to pitch new products and supply more products or services to a willing and happy customer than find a new one. And when a new potential lead so much as looks your way, you had better be ready with every tool in the kit to guide them towards a long-time success story.
A successful CRM process means meeting your customer where they are, it means being able to lever a nurtured relationship to a point that is mutually beneficial. Testament to, and as an example of, are hundreds of museums, aquariums, and cultural attractions that shifted to in-home on-screen experiences and delivery of physical kits, games, and toys. This not only ensured their survival, but also enriched relationships and created life-saving revenue.
CRM is so much more than a lead capturing database, so much more than an email marketing tool, so much more than a case management system – CRM is post-pandemic kryptonite and with it, you are on a path to success like no other, but without it… well let’s just say, without CRM, even the mightiest have fallen.