Customer Relationship Management From Quarantine for Small Businesses
January 27, 2021
For many people, quarantine still isn’t over and won’t be for a long time. We’ve discussed why bringing digital conveniences into your real-world location is necessary – but businesses still need to maintain relationships with customers when they aren’t able to come to a physical location. Social media channels, video calls, and CRM methods like email are critical when you can’t get face time – and leaders in the industry recognize how important they are. Major retailers, banks, car dealerships – businesses of all kinds are adopting digital contact and customer relationship management options, and bolstering their old ones to stay relevant. Here are the trends we’re seeing, and how you can stay on top of your digital contact game.
How are Industry Leaders Ramping Up?
Across every vertical, industry leaders are facing the pandemic with no-contact options, be they for customer complaints, everyday ordering, or just for conducting internal and external meetings. For example, since the start of the pandemic Walmart has ramped up sends to their email marketing lists by 12% according to Mailcharts.com. Since customers have started to stay home, Home Depot’s sends are up by 7%, and their site has a newsletter signup clearly visible on their homepage. Dominos already had a robust online ecosystem for ordering, which has adapted since the start of lockdown recommendations. Wendy’s, known for their social media hijinks, also runs a tight customer service ship on their chosen platforms. For a small business, there is a lot to learn from what these larger companies have chosen to focus on. Let’s go platform by platform.
Keep the Channel Open: Social Media
Social media is either a first-resort or last-resort contact channel – it depends on the customer. Either way, depending on your business, it needs to stay open. A customer will turn to social media looking for a real response – and social media platforms encourage a fast response too. Let’s look at an exemplary social media profile. Wendy’s Twitter comes to mind with witty tweets to fans and verbal sparring with other brands, but their customer service response on social media is also top-notch. Faced with customer questions and issues, they respond quickly, and they work to make things right. Your main takeaway there is fast response times and a reliable presence – not necessarily Wendy’s sarcastic tone. We answer customer questions about the companies we work with on a daily basis through social media, and often a curious user can convert into a loyal customer. Social is a channel rich with opportunities for connection and relationship management for many small businesses.
Slam-Dunk Email Marketing
Of course, what is customer relationship management without email marketing? This channel is the right fit for a surprising number of businesses – and even the highest-profile companies would be remiss not to have a regular newsletter or sales email. Automation is one simple way to incorporate the power of email marketing, and if your website is set up to feed leads into your CRM software automatically, it’s even easier. Automated emails can only go so far, though – we’ve found that audiences respond especially well to regular, varied content. For one homebuilder client, we send emails almost daily – but each one is tailored to a different audience to prevent fatigue. As a result, they have a large, engaged audience that’s totally up-to-date on their latest offerings. They see great traffic from their email marketing, both in-person and digitally. Plus, working with us, they save time on creating and distributing their email content.
The New Normal: Video Calling
It may be impossible to connect in person with clients, customers, and even your own team. Video calling, be it from Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, Skype, or any other service, is the new normal. We host many client meetings virtually now, and some of our clients use video meeting software with their own customers. For example, a number of homebuilder clients give virtual tours to interested homebuyers through their phones.
We have a number of tips for a successful video call regardless of what platform you’re using. Pre-prep is essential for video calls – no matter how many times you’ve done it, no matter your technical skill, check your connections and do a software, mic, and camera check before your meeting, you won’t regret it! Most video call software provides a link to the call or meeting room – try to pick one that’s as accessible as possible for your client or customer. One with no extra software to download or login to create is often preferable, but your needs may vary based on privacy or video quality concerns. Our final tip for now; dress nicely from head to toe… We’ve all seen the guy in pajama pants and a blazer forget to turn his camera off to get up from the computer, your clients and customers don’t want to see that.
Create Real Relationships With Digital Interactions
In the new digital landscape, customer relationship management is even more important for small businesses. There are a lot of options – and they’re not one-size-fits-all. Rearview Advertising is here to help you make sense of digital strategy for your business. Give us a call and we can talk about anything you want more insight into – all with a free coaching session. You’re not on your own in digital marketing, Rearview Advertising is here to help.