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I’ve been looking at a load of different CRM systems lately for one of my clients.  It’s really interesting how companies interact with potential customers at the front end (that is, through the website, direct mail, email etc).

I signed up for one company’s demo – the login details pinged back to me via email immediately…and at exactly the same time I received another email to say “Hello, my name is Cara.  Now you’ve had a chance to trial our system, do you have any questions…?”.  Err, no, not yet.

And as another example, a few weeks ago I completed on a house I was selling.  The money from the purchaser came in and the solicitor paid that to the mortgage company.  The very same mortgage company then sent me a letter a couple of weeks later saying “Thank you for enquiring about our mortgages…” and went on to tell me why I should be taking a mortgage out with them.

It really doesn’t take very much to schedule emails to be sent at a certain time: the first company could very easy have delayed the second email to me by a few days so that I did actually have a chance to trial the system.

And the mortgage company really could ensure that their database lists are up to date and only send relevant information to the correct list.

The above two examples are very simply avoided by some up front thinking.  A morning spent thinking about the experience your customer has with you as they wind their way through you marketing and sales pipeline will ensure that they only ever receive the right messages at the right time (and those right messages go to the right people).

When it goes wrong at this kind of level, it starts eroding away at all the hard work you’ve done to build yourself up as a strong, professional, credible brand.  It’s far quicker to erode a brand than it takes to build it.

So, over the next few days, schedule some time in your diary to plan your customer’s journey with you.  From initial suspect, to warm prospect, to hot prospect, to customer.  Then what happens when they are a customer?  What’s the average time a customer spends with you?  What happens throughout their time with you?  How do you communicate with them at separate stages of their life cycle?  What happens when they leave you?  What then?

One morning spent thinking now, will pay maximum dividends later on.

And finally – you don’t need any fancy systems or tools to do this: a pencil and paper work just beautifully!

Dedicated to your success as always,

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