Realtor Case Study: In the past CRM consisted of sending out a semi-personal newsletter to an existing client, say 3 or 4 times a year, some personal phone calls and perhaps a direct visit with the Christmas calendar or barbecue apron in the summer. Established customers appear to be so busy today that even some of those attempts to maintain relationships are perceived as interruptive-type marketing. So what’s the answer?
Facebook does offer a very superficial type of relationship whereby friends/customers peek in on your business or your life to see what’s going on. They do this on their own time schedule and perhaps your marketing should not only focus on the new widgets, but also share some personal information to attempt to build a personal relationship and provide solutions to their problems.
This begs the question which to choose: a business relationship providing a service for a consumable versus the personal relationship where you know the first name of the client, perhaps their children’s names and some personal element like they like to play golf. What is the right mix? Of course that totally depends on your business. If you are automotive repairs, and you acquire a high level of trust to garner customer loyalty, then it is important that the service rep actually knows the customer’s name, recognizes their car, has a work history and shows a high confidence level of maintaining their vehicle. If you’re a fast food outlet then of course the relationship is much more based on consistent quality of service and product, and no-one is really expecting a personal relationship.
I believe all services could increase client relationships. For example, when you walk into the fast food restaurant and on your smart phone it shows you your last five orders, you can click it and beat an order before you even get in line.
So the question that challenges us all is what is the future of CRM functionality with tomorrow’s social media explosion?