Customer Relationship Management

CRM

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system integrates marketing initiatives, customer information, and business operations to deliver an optimal customer experience while uncovering revenue generating opportunities for the business. The integration of data that is normally stored in and viewed by separate divisions into a single access point within a business provides a holistic view of all customer interactions with the business. Information in this format provides several advantages, including:

  • The discovery of customer preferences – Knowing customer preferences as revealed by previous purchases can open conversations regarding related and add-on purchases.
  • Increased efficiency in marketing efforts – This same knowledge can help target the customers that will be most receptive to marketing campaigns for new and/or related products.
  • The aggregation of customer information in a single location in real time – This allows for customer service personnel to provide fast responses to inquiries regarding backorders, shipping, exchanges/returns, etc.
  • Improved customer retention – Positive experiences in terms of purchasing, tailored marketing, and customer service will keep customers coming back time and time again.

Empowering your personnel with the ability to view integrated customer data on a single screen can take your business to the next level in terms of sales, marketing, and customer service.

Here are the three different aspects of CRM systems.

Analytical – Analytical Customer Relationship Management describes the primary function of all CRM systems, which is to gather what can be disparate points of customer data, integrate it, and then use the information to make faster and more informed decisions and responses relating to sales, marketing, and customer service.

Collaborative – Collaborative Customer Relationship Manage systems integrate customer data with the objective of enabling different departments within a company to communicate with each other while viewing the same sets of information. This aspect of CRM is a critical element in the optimization of the system for enterprise-sized businesses.

Operational – Operational Customer Relationship Manage systems are those that are focused on automating customer contact processes. An example would be a phone system that prompts callers through a menu of services. Another example would be data mining customer information to determine the best opportunities for marketing leads, sales prospects etc.

 

Featured News

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    Despite the fact that local listings have basically finished their move from the Yellow Pages to the web, many local businesses are still satisfied with the idea that having a website will get them in front of the maximum number of potential customers. While this mistake probably resulted in missed opportunities when searches via PC ruled the day, it is magnified today as mobile searches now outnumber those executed on PCs.

     

    The opportunity presented by mobile device users for local businesses is highlighted in a variety of studies, particularly one between Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased, which assessed smart phone behavior with over 5,000 users. That study found that 50 percent of mobile device users who search for local businesses end up visiting a physical location within one day. Another study found that 46 percent of searchers use their mobile devices exclusively when doing research on products and services. The net result for local businesses is that missing the mobile consumer could be costing a fortune in missed sales. If you haven’t optimized your site and your content for this new type of consumer, there are three steps to take now.

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                Answer the questions of mobile users – Mobile users typically pose their search queries as questions, and Google rewards sites that deliver the answers to those questions with higher rankings and visibility. This is a change that went into their ranking algorithm in the second half of 2013, but many local businesses still aren’t aware of it.

            Offer great content – Simply composing content that has some relation to your products but focuses more on keywords that used to deliver traffic has been the target of Google algorithm changes for several years. If you’re still using keyword-loaded content on your web pages there are two distinct disadvantages; Google is not paying attention and the mobile users that find you will likely jump to sites that offer a better experience. Instead, Google now surfaces content that is proven to deliver value to searchers and your site has a much better chances of getting valuable backlinks from authority sites. 

             Re-build your site with responsive design architecture – Delivering a user friendly interface on mobile devices is critical in keeping these searchers on your site after they have landed. Text that is difficult to read, navigation links that are hard to find, and pictures of products that are too small on mobile viewports will typically have users headed for a sight that is mobile friendly. Re-building your site with responsive design architecture can display an optimized interface for mobile users that presents web page information that has been adjusted to the size of the screen of each mobile device.

     

    Local businesses now have a huge opportunity to attract mobile consumers. Make these changes as soon as possible to get in on the action.            

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            Creating your on and off-site content to answer questions – One of the biggest modifications in Google’s algorithm is the change from basing search results on keyword density to the surfacing of content that answers questions. The first step to take here is to learn how your audience searches for your products and/or services. Mobile searches now outnumber those that originate from PCs and are often posed as what, where, why and how questions. Content that answers those types of queries is now being rewarded with higher rankings.

             Generating content that earns links – The practice of building or buying links has basically flatlined as search engines now have the capability to determine whether they occur naturally or are being set up to influence ranking algorithms. Links are as important as ever, but it’s the quality and relevance of the point of origination that matters, not the amount of backlinks. Today, earning a single link from an authority or industry-related site carries more weight than thousands of backlinks with dubious origins. Keep in mind also that these types of links offer the additional benefit of driving targeted traffic to your site, whereas fake links deliver nothing.

            Pinpointing your social media efforts – Businesses originally saw social media sites as platforms to broadcast their marketing and advertising, which resulted in a dilutive “the more, the merrier” approach to developing as many diverse pages as possible. As these sites have evolved, the expectation of these communities is that businesses must engage in two-way conversations rather than just blasting out their messaging. This expectation makes it difficult to optimize a variety of different sites, so narrow your focus to the sites that fit best with your business. In most cases, the result of full engagement on a couple of sites will yield far more social actions such as “shares” than being spread too thin on too many social platforms.

    $      Make your site responsive – Google has prioritized the experience of mobile users as part of its ranking formula, going as far as highlighting sites that are built with responsive design architecture with a “mobile friendly” designation when searched with a mobile device. Changing your site over to responsive design architecture will allow it to adapt the on-page information that is displayed to the size of the viewport of the mobile device. The result is text that is easier to read, simple navigation, and an interface that works efficiently on smaller screens.

     

    If you haven’t updated your SEO practices in the last year your search rankings may be suffering. By incorporating these steps, your SEO campaigns can be revived while both the quality and the amount of the traffic to your sites increase.          

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