Sunday, October 28, 2012

Simple Mobile Customer Relationship Management Strategies

Gone are the days of simply informing your clients of a new product or service, waiting a few days, and having the phone ring with an overflow of orders. Consumers today expect a great deal more from the businesses they interact with, and like to be engaged throughout every level of the marketing process. With that being said, the value and quality of products while still very important, are not the only factors driving consumers to make purchasing decisions. Consumers love to feel as if they are involved in the decision making of a company, have an interactive relationship, or feel like they are the only client of a business. Twenty years ago, engaging a client may have been somewhat of a difficult task, but with current technology, and the strength of the mobile and social infrastructure, client engagement is an absolute necessity in building a successful brand.

Customer Relationship Management encompasses the processing and understanding of customer information, in an effort to effectively engage customers. This form of high communications is essential in a social and media driven world, as consumers now have more information at their fingertips than ever before. The payoffs for creating a CRM model can be huge, considering that heightened brand loyalty will improve revenues and also decrease marketing costs, as campaigns become more targeted. As it relates to mobile marketing, CRM can be implemented cost effectively and simply. Below are a few outlined strategies that will help with Customer Relationship Management, and can help improve overall satisfaction, loyalty, and client advocacy.

Targeted Distribution Lists
The creation and maintenance of an SMS distribution list is essential to any Client Relationship Management campaign. Since SMS distribution lists are highly targeted, and have high response rates (sometimes up to 30%), this is a perfect means of creating personalized offers that fit a client's needs.

The main goal of CRM is to make marketing to prospective and existing clients easier; building targeted SMS lists can effectively accomplish this. Let's say for example your company ran a mobile campaign, in which it placed QR codes in its existing print material, which reads, "Scan here in order to download our free ebook on personal success". Clients that downloaded the ebook are now opted into your SMS list, and can be sent marketing information on purchasing your "success" seminar (for example). While many of these clients may not have initially purchased your service from this first form of contact, your now have a list of individuals, who you know are at least interested in your product, thus future follow up with this population can be very targeted and much more effective in terms of sales conversions. Creating targeted SMS lists for each product niche can be a highly effective way of segmenting potential buyers, which can then each be marketed to using tailored strategies.

Loyalty Programs
Creating brand loyalty is a very powerful means of improving overall profitability. Loyalty programs not only create additional value for clients, but also create overall satisfaction, as clients feel they are part of a family, and share in the success of an organization. These programs reward clients for their repeat business and encourage loyal behavior. Also, loyal customers tend to spend more money on average, be higher promoters of a business, and are less elastic in terms of changes in price.

One very simple, yet effective way to build a mobile loyalty program is through the use of mobile coupons. These coupons are easily redeemable at a point of sale, or online, and can be implemented by simply sending a coupon code to an already existing distribution list. An easy mobile campaign can be set up, which drives clients to opt into an SMS list. Once opted in, the client will receive monthly coupons around the product or service of their choice. These recipients would typically be motivated consumers, as they are shopping for value around the products your company provides. Also, once your list has been established, you now have the ability to cost effectively cross sell to this target population. Another good practice would be to send periodic coupons to your other distribution lists, even if they did not initially opt in knowing they would be receiving this additional value. A coupon could read "Thank you for being a client for 6 months, please show this coupon on your next visit for 50% off!" This will show clients that their business is very meaningful, and will help establish a long-term loyal interaction.

Mobile Polling
One effective means of gathering client feedback is through the use of mobile polling. Client insight is key to building long-term relationships and creates a competitive advantage for companies that are able to process the comments that they receive on their front lines. One example of a simple polling strategy would be a Name That Product contest. A polling text could be sent out to existing clients, which reads, "Help us name our new Product, please respond to this text with the option you choose". Engaging the client in such a decision not only gives them a feeling of self-satisfaction and fulfillment, but also subsequently promotes the product at hand. Additionally, a reward can be given to the participants, in order to encourage them to become purchasers the day the new product launches.

While Customer Relationship Management can be complex, and touch many parts of an organization, there are a few simple strategies you can use to put your client information to work. This optimization of your client data will create more overall engagement, loyalty, and in turn create more long lasting customers. Maintaining niche based SMS lists will give you the option of implementing several means of CRM, not limited to those mentioned. The key is to become creative with the way you touch your clients, and the rewards will be bountiful.

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