Constant technological advances make it possible for customers to shop for products and services by phone, mail, fax, online and in-person. Each channel customers use to make purchases, ask questions about a product or service or share their opinions is detrimental to the success of a business. Because of this, businesses use multi-channel CRM to monitor each channel, gather data and manage their customer relationships.
Define Multi-Channel CRM
Customer relationship management, also commonly referred to as CRM, is an electronic system businesses use to keep track of their customers, their buying preferences and behaviors. This information helps businesses interact with their customers based on their needs and wants. Businesses use customer relationship management programs to track these details, and then respond to those customers’ needs and wants with products, offers, services, information and advice they will find valuable. Because customers shop through various channels, businesses utilize multi-channel CRM to monitor and respond to customers, regardless of the channel they shop and interact with a business.
Benefits of Multi-Channel CRM
Multi-channel CRM offers businesses and their customers a wide range of benefits, which help ensure that customers have the best experiences with the companies and organizations they use to purchase products and services. When you use multi-channel CRM, you position your business to increase sales, build customer loyalty, create more possibilities for up-selling and cross-selling products, and services based on past purchases and preferences, and ultimately get a better understanding who your customers are and how they shop. These details can help you develop marketing strategies, identify distribution methods, and generate new product and service ideas.
Risks of Ignoring Multi-Channel CRM
Businesses that neglect to use multi-channel CRM at their organizations can potentially risk losing profits and customers. Customers want the businesses they purchase products and services from to understand and respond to their needs by using the information they provide them during the purchase process, or when they make inquiries. This makes it easier for customers to shop and pick products, and services that can benefit their families. Customers enjoy receiving offers specific to their needs and wants, which may include whether they make purchases when there is a coupon available, or during a certain time of the year. If your company cannot provide information and sales based on these details, and other preferences, customers may shop with another businesses that better understands their needs and wants.
Examples of Multi-Channel CRM
Businesses of all varieties can use multi-channel CRM to improve their relationships with their customers. For example, a florist may use multi-channel CRM to send customers, who have previously purchased flowers at a given time of a year, a reminder that the date or event is approaching. If the customer purchased the flowers online, the florist can send an email marketing message, however, if the customer came into the store to order the flowers, the store might send a postcard as a reminder. Another example of how multi-channel CRM works is when a customer fills out a new customer profile in a salon, which outlines the types of services they usually get in a salon, how often they typically visit, whether they want to receive updates via text, email or by mail, the types of hair products, and brands they use and their favorite celebrity hair. Armed with this information, a salon owner can enter the information into her CRM system, which will help the salon determine what types of promotions to send and during which intervals, stylists can also get a hint about what types of hairstyles the client may like and which products to suggestive sell.