February 18, 2012
Many of us spent part of our Saturday afternoons waiting for a vehicle to be serviced. You may have noticed the small things a car dealer or any other type of business may have done to make long waits more pleasurable or build relationships with clients.
Most companies use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as business strategies and tools to build up better relationships with customers. Businesses implement this plan to ensure they retain customers, to interact with them and to ensure those customers are satisfied and will return to spend again.
A CRM plan and strategy can help you as an entrepreneur make better decisions, track performance, ensure that you have a quality assurance program, build revenue streams and increase profitability.
To highlight an example in the service industry, here are some CRM operational tips to keep your customers happy, waiting customers:
– Providing complimentary coffee, water, juice
– Weekend, special events, like BBQs
– Big screen, with game or TV on
– Current magazines or periodicals to read
– Access to internet (so some of us can keep blogging and publishing in real time)
– Frequent updates to service conducted and estimated completion time
– Smiles, chatter, pleasant communications
– Clean washrooms
– Transparent and open communications about service upfront
What you can do as a service manager / entrepreneur, which can build into your CRM plan:
– Observe your customers and with knowing patterns of customer behaviour, be prepared to pro-actively inject service to alleviate customer behaviour
– Observe your staff interacting with clients who are in the waiting room – are they pleasant? Are they interacting frequently?
– Use this time to get to know your customer; not too often do businesses have the opportunity to capture some information from your loyal customers.
– Opportunities for add-on sales, promotions, advertising directly to a paying customer.
– Promote a positive winning environment, and always be prepared to turn the negative to positive
– Observe the waiting or customer service room. Is is clean? Does it reflect your business? Are there visual queues to promote your company, product or service? Is it a positive environment?
– Offer discounts for some unforeseen delays in the process
– Conduct surveys with customers and track the data
– Cut down the service time
– Create service standards, such as estimated service completion time frames, payment procedures
– Automate certain service aspects such as automatic billing or logged repeat services…these all cut down service times and improve service standards
In the example above using some techniques and strategies, you can turn an unpleasant waiting period into a positive experience for the consumer; positive experience means repeat customers & potentially more future revenues. As you may have heard, it is easier to keep a customer than to attract a new customer.
With some added attention to detail, and the use and implementation of a CRM strategic plan, you will be able to maximum benefits to and from the customer. You can turn an unpleasant experience into a positive one for the consumer and for your business.
© 2012 Strategy Plan One
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