Techniques to Build Customer Relationships

Customer relationship management is a technique and process marketers use to increase sales revenues over time. Instead of simply attempting to drive sales through traditional advertisements, the practice of customer relationship management, or CRM, seeks to build relationships with customers. The use of crm software helps marketers gather customer information and use it to create repeat, personalized messaging to individuals. These individuals have either requested information from the organization or have done business with them. Loyalty programs are an example of the practice.

Permission-Based

Marketers gain customer information through contact forms, sign-up forms, and sweepstakes registration forms. However, companies will typically inform people of whether the information will be used to communicate with them in the future about special offers and promotions. People usually have the option of indicating they would not like to be informed of these offers in the future. When signing up for a loyalty program, customers may have the option to indicate what type of messages they would like to receive and at what frequency.

Software

Some programs that reward repeat purchase behaviors use smartphone applications to track what customers are buying and when. The smartphone applications also display personalized and general messages as well as ways customers can earn more rewards. Other programs track purchases through a “club card” or a customer’s phone number that is input in point-of-sale machines. Special discounts are offered based on what the customer usually buys and can be loaded onto the “club card” through a personalized account on a website or smartphone application. Sending e-mails to customers about the offers is also common.

Process-Oriented

Customer relationship management is a process that uses means of electronic communication over time. The main goal is to offer customers solutions or products they are most likely to be interested in based on past behaviors. At any time, the customer has the choice to terminate the communication or relationship with the organization.

Although the process does use offers and discounts to entice purchase behavior, another potential component is the use of content. Many CRM programs provide customers or potential customers with the information they may be interested in. This technique simulates a relationship built upon both consent and two-way communication where the organization is attempting to enrich people’s lives with both education about topics of interest and product solutions aligned with those topics.