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CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a company-wide business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by unifying customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. CRM brings together information from all data sources within an organization, and where appropriate, from outside the organization to give one, all-inclusive view of each customer in real time. This allows employees in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing to make quick yet informed decisions on everything from support, customer service, cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

CRM is not just software – it’s a business ‘mindset’ focused on winning and keeping the right customers.

CRM is about understanding your customers and prospects buying habits and preferences so you can:

  • Build relationships to keep them coming back
  • Provide value-added services that enhance your relationship with them
  • Increase your awareness of customer needs

By integrating marketing, sales and customer service functions, a CRM system makes it easier for everyone to work together and share critical information.

Customer relationship management tools have been shown to help companies attain these objectives:

  • Streamlined sales and marketing processes
  • Higher sales productivity
  • Added cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
  • Improved customer service, loyalty, and retention
  • Higher close rates
  • Better customer profiling and targeting
  • Reduced expenses
  • Increased market share
  • Higher overall profitability

Cloud Computing …

  • It’s easy to access – members simply log in and get stuck in – no software to download and install
  • Updates are seamless – software is updated for all members instantly
  • It works across many platforms – members can log in via their office computer, laptop, PDI, mobile phone, etc … anywhere with internet access
  • Cloud allows posting new content to all members at once


Customer Care

There are 3 types of customers – dissatisfied, satisfied and delighted.

  1. The dissatisfied tell 10 others.
  2. The satisfied tell 5 others.
  3. The ’delighted’ tell 20 others.

It costs 6 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer.

In research conducted by the American Manufacturers Association it was discovered that 68% of customers leave because they were treated with indifference, disrespect, apathy or slipshod behaviour by employees of the business they dealt with.  (The good news is that because 68% of people leave through indifference, passionate customer care can make a real immediate enduring impact)

For all these reasons it is obvious that a passionate commitment to customer care is a most effective marketing tool.

Cycle of Service

A ‘cycle of service’ maps the key contact points (‘Moments of Truth’) between your business and your customer

Jan Carlson, president and CEO of Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS) popularized the term “moment of truth.” In the case of SAS, moments of truth included the points at which a passenger made a reservation, checked into the airport, boarded the plane, retrieved luggage, or made contact with an SAS employee during the flight.  “Nothing is more fragile than the fleeting contact between a customer in the marketplace and an employee on the front lines. When you establish contact, that’s when you establish SAS.”  Jan Carlson

In one year, SAS carried 10,000,000 passengers, each of whom experienced an average of five encounters with SAS employees. The result: 50,000,000 “moments of truth” to meet, and if possible, exceed, passengers’ expectations for quality and service.

The moments of truth that occur in any business are crucial . Consider some of the critical ‘moments of truth’ that occur when a customer visits, for example a pharmacy …

  • Signage
  • Parking
  • Windows
  • Front door
  • The first 8 seconds (the smell, the feel, the look, the temperature, the sound …)
  • Merchandising
  • Sales person interface
  • Payment
  • ‘After the sale is over’ – follow-through service

In each case, the customers enduring  impression of your business is determined by how competent, caring, concerned, helpful, understanding and professional you and your staff were — not just on their first visit but every time the customer calls or visits your business.  Make sure you and your staff harvest your moments of truth wisely.

Having identified the ‘moments of truth’ for your business, it is then necessary to agree minimum standards of service for each respective ‘moments of truth’.

Handling Customer Complaints

Good businesses aim to keep their customers satisfied.  It is inevitable that at some stage a customer will complain. You should actively solicit customer complaints and deal with them positively and empathetically.

Benefits for your business include:

  • improved quality and service
  • fewer errors
  • better understanding of customers’ needs
  • enhanced customer loyalty
  • positive ‘word of mouth’ advertising from satisfied customers
  • reduced time and money spent attracting customers
  • improved business standing
  • higher profits

“Don’t push profits out the door”

Handle complaints successfully by:

  • agreeing a policy of welcoming customer complaints
  • implementing a system to handle complaints effectively
  • training staff to deal with complaints well
  • promptly dealing with any complaints
  • making it ‘easy’ for your customers to complain
  • regularly frequent analysis of  your complaints log


Customer Surveys

An effective customer satisfaction survey program should focus on measuring customer perceptions of how well the company delivers on the critical success factors and dimensions of the business.

These usually include factors like service promptness, staff responsiveness, and understanding of the customer’s problem.

The best time to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is when the experience is fresh in their minds. If you wait to conduct a survey, the customer’s response may be less accurate. They may have forgotten some of the details.

Basic Customer Satisfaction Questions …

  • How satisfied are you with the purchase you made (of our product or service)?
  • How satisfied are you with the service you received?
  • How satisfied are you with our company overall?

Customer Loyalty Questions …

  • How likely are you to buy from us again?
  • How likely are you to recommend our product/service to others?
  • How likely are you to recommend our company to others?

Probe …

  • What the customer liked about the product, your service, and your company?
  • What the customer didn’t like about the product, your service, and your company?

Analyse and compile the answers from different customers …

  1. Look for trends.
  2. Act on the information you get from my customers though the survey.
  3. Fix those things customers have complained about.
  4. Investigate their suggestions
  5. Improve your company, products and services in those areas that mean most to the majority of your customers.
  6. Don’t change those things they particularly like.
  7. Most importantly give them feedback that their answers were appreciated and are being acted upon.


Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing simply refers to the process of attracting website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing can be an excellent vehicle for developing online brand awareness, customer engagement, and audience growth. This requires a solid, measurable plan and a commitment to developing consistent and valuable content. In addition, it’s crucial for you to have a clear understanding of why social can be useful for reaching your business goals.

Social media marketing programs usually centre on efforts to generate content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks.  A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it seems to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.

This form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, resulting in earned media rather than being paid for.


It is impossible to reach and attain a goal without defining exact specifics. Too many business owners let social metrics define their goals, such as “More Twitter Followers”, “More Fans on Facebook”, “More YouTube Views.”

You need to go a step beyond to define specific, actionable, and (most importantly) reasonable SMM goals. Here are some specific SMM goals you might use after completing your business review:

  • Validate a new product or service using social as a research platform.
  • Develop buzz and interest around a new product.
  • Engage users in social to generate relevant and targeted traffic to your site.
  • Gain market share by leading customer/client service through social.
  • Generate registrations to branded events through social.

One of the keys to ensuring your success in social is to create and implement a voice that resonates with your specific target audience. For each audience type, break down and research age, income, location, and reasons for possibly buying your products/services.

SMM Tools

Choosing your social tools appropriately is an essential piece of your online communications plan, so choose wisely. Let’s do a short review of the leading social sites to assist you in your selection:

  • Facebook: More than 955 million users. Majority between 18-25; 60 percent female. Best opportunity for community building with customers.
  • Twitter: More than 555 million users. Majority between 26-34; 57 percent female. Best tool for interacting in real-time.
  • Google Plus+: More than 170 million users. Majority between 26-34; 63 percent male. Platform for driving visibility around a brand.
  • LinkedIn: More than 150 million users. Majority between 26-34, directly followed by 35-44. The number one B2B social networking tool.
  • Pinterest:  More than 12 Million Users. Majority between 26-44; 68 percent female. A viral platform for sharing stories via pictures.

Plan and implement

Next the tough challenge – finding, creating, and delivering engaging social media content. Social media execution can be daunting, but with a proper plan it is doable and can drive real (marketing) results.

What you need to define:

  • Your frequency of content delivery & response to social engagement.
  • Your types and specific topics for content creation.
  • Ways to increase audience engagement.
  • Events that can drive social.
  • Your social success metrics (number of followers, number of fans, volume of traffic back to site, number of retweets, etc.