Brands must develop relationships with customers

by Ben Hatton

BRANDS hoping to increase online sales need to develop customer relationship management (CRM) systems if they are to succeed.

According to a report by the Direct Marketing Association, the number of brands responding to consumer enquiries is extremely low – only 35% acknowledge consumers’ emails and only 29% collect information to improve marketing activities in future.

At the same time, the rise of email and social media means the timeframe for responses is shrinking; consumers expect a retailer or brand to provide information, answer questions or respond to complaints more quickly than ever.

Brands must have the resources in place to be able to respond to customers as quickly as possible.

CRM systems allow companies to respond swiftly to customer queries and on multiple platforms. If brands don’t make this a priority they could lose customers to competitors who are faster to respond.

Today’s digital customers are faced with information fatigue and overloaded inboxes. It is no longer enough to just respond, there is a developing need to be able to continue conversations with target audiences and build relationships, which, ultimately, can be converted into sales.

Some brands are developing their social media tools to interact with customers quickly and efficiently whilst boosting brand loyalty. In addition, having a good website, complete with a comprehensive FAQ page is also a must.

Understanding what the customer wants, and having the right resources in place to respond to those needs, is something all brands should be working towards.

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