Top Customer Relationship Marketing Tips for Digital Marketers

alt= Happy customer image

What is Customer Relationship Marketing?

Before I can begin explaining the strengths of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) in digital marketing, its crucial that you understand what it actually is first!

As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you must be able to understand the benefits, limits and constraints of relationship marketing.

Customer relationship marketing is a marketing strategy that cultivates deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty. It is comprised of strategies to build client support for a business and its offerings with the aim of increasing brand loyalty.

So, why is it important in digital marketing?

Customer Relationship Marketing is essentially the building blocks for a successful digital marketing campaign- it creates a strong base for promotion of a brands products, services, values, etc. A brand may succeed in the short-term without investing in strong customer relations, however they won’t be able to retain those customers for a very long period of time. By focusing on building a strong customer relations base, a brand will develop meaningful connections with their customers which will in turn lead to loyal, long-term stability.

If a customer experiences bad customer service, they will be unhappy. This will most likely lead to bad reviews spread about a brand which can damage their reputation immediately. If a customer experiences good customer service, they will have a good experience of your products/ services which will lead to them leaving positive reviews and feedback about your brand. It doesn’t matter what industry a brand is in, CRM is equally important and the pathway to success because the most effective way of building good brand reputation is through happy customers!

Top Tips for CRM

  • Respond in a timely manner– set a specific time goal for your response time (aim for around 12-24 hours maximum), communicate this clearly on your channels and be sure to stick to it
  • Align your objectives with the customers objectives– even if this means compromising your own goals or plans, the customers needs come first
  • Make your response personal and tailored to them– let them know you are human, you are understanding and adapt a friendly tone to settle them with their enquiry
  • Don’t copy and paste responses– yes, you should follow a good structure with responses to ensure consistency, however they will notice if you have just copied and pasted your response. This will have an even more negative effect than no response at all!
alt= customer with love heart to show brand loyalty

Benefits of CRM in digital marketing:

It’s clear that customer relationship marketing plays a crucial role in digital marketing and determines the success of campaigns. Some of the key benefits of CRM include:

  • Strong return on investment (ROI) when CRM has been applied and demonstrated correctly
  • Positive reviews that create a good image for the brand
  • Descriptive feedback that gives customer insight, giving the brand ideas on how they can improve further
  • Word of mouth spread, increasing awareness of brand
  • Ease of cross-selling and potential change (loyal customers are invested in the brand and are more likely to stick by you through adaptations)
alt= Ticking clock to show long term strategy takes time

Limitations and constraints of CRM in digital marketing

Despite the endless amount of positive implications when a brand focuses on implementing great customer relationship marketing, there are also some limitations that come along with it…

  • It’s expensive- not only is the customer service pricey, promotions can realistically fail to create loyal customers, which leads to loss
  • It doesn’t work for all types of businesses- if you have a one time buy product, this strategy would see the opposite effects
  • Can focus too much on current customers, leading to neglection of new and potential customers
  • Bad reviews can damage reputation
  • This is a long term strategy and therefore it takes longer to see the positive effects than a short term strategy


The key to success for a brand is customers. Without customers, there is no brand. Customer relationship marketing is the best way for a brand to build their strong customer base, however it may not always be the best option depending on the product/ service offering. This is why understanding the pros, cons and top tips of CRM is so crucial for the strength of a digital marketers understanding and capabilities.

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To find out more technical knowledge, read through the digital marketing standard or occupational brief.

Understanding The Customer Life Cycle

Diagram of the customer life cycle

What is the Customer Life Cycle?

The customer lifecycle outlines the steps taken by a customer as they progress through the marketing and sales funnel. It gives marketing, sales, and customer service teams a complete picture of the customer’s journey and highlights areas for improvement. 

Why it is important when it comes to Digital marketing

The Customer Lifecycle Value is basically a prediction of how much value a business will gain from the entire course of their relationship with any given customer. Because you never know how long each customer relationship will last, the customer life cycle is basically a way for businesses to estimate a customer’s monetary worth over time. The customer life cycle is important because it helps companies determine how much money they want to spend on bringing in new customers and how much repeat business they can expect to gain from certain customers.

What are the different parts of the cycle and what do they mean?


Here is where your relationship with a customer begins. when they first become aware of the existence of your brand, product, or service. Without awareness the customer won’t have any knowledge that your product exists. The chances are that the customer has seen your post or advert multiple times before actually clicking on it too.


Every customer goes through some version of this stage, whether it’s months of research and comparison or just a quick “gut check” before making a decision. One of the most effective ways to stand out from your competitors at this point is by offering robust digital self-service. Just like customers seeking support, consumers who are evaluating products or services start by trying to find the answers themselves.


In our opinion this part is fairly similar to the research part of the cycle as customers will be comparing different products as part of their research. Retaining the customers attention during the comparison phase can be done by having the best deal, having the best quality product, being the easiest to buy from e.g. fastest delivery and much more. It’s important to consider all these factors as any drop in quality is likely to be picked up on.


Once a customer is set on using you as a company it’s important to make their potential selections very clear and understandable. Remember, just because a customer has chosen your company in the comparison phase doesn’t mean you’ll be able to retain them. Especially if your website isn’t clear and or a frustrating user experience.


This step may seem simple, the customer buys the product and that’s it. However, there are crucial parts to the purchase phase. Having a simple process for purchasing the product is imperative as you can still lose the customer if they can’t find a fast way to purchase the product. If they have a question before purchasing you might also want to have a live chat feature so the customer doesn’t have to back out of their purchase to answer their question.


Once the product has been purchased you want the customer to receive it as fast as possible. Having a delay in the delivery can really harm your reputation and even earn you a bad review. Equally, the product has to be as it is described on the website.


Having a customer buy from you is only half the battle, you want repeat custom from that sale. To do this you can follow up purchases with an email after a set period of time. E.g. A customer has just purchased toothpaste from your online store. In 6 weeks our automated mailing list will send a follow up email asking if they’d like to purchase the product again as they’ve likely gone through the tube of toothpaste by now.

Word of Mouth

Finally comes word of mouth. After your customer has bought from you and hopefully had a good experience they should spread the word about your company. You can help speed this process up by having a good loyalty/recommendation scheme. E.g. recommend this company to a friend and if they sign up you receive a free gift/voucher.


Hopefully you now understand the importance of the customer life cycle. You must fully understand this cycle during a digital marketing apprenticeship in order to be a successful digital marketer. It’s important to keep up to date with any changes to this cycle. When new technologies come out the cycle can change, or be interpreted in slightly different ways.

What is good customer service in marketing?

When marketing products and services, you need to be prepared to engage with customers. Rather than send a one-way marketing message, good digital marketing campaigns should engage customers.

Campaigns should hook customers and entice them to find out more about your products and/or services.

When customers get in touch you need to be prepared to respond efficiently to their enquiries using a range of platforms. This could be on email, through your website, or using social media.

respond efficiently to their customer service enquiries

Any good sales or marketing team will be ready to handle customer enquiries and respond to these in a professional manner. Being prepared for this by having customer service and social media policies in place makes this so much easier.

As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you need to demonstrate that you can “respond efficiently to enquiries using online and social media platforms.”

So, what does good customer service look like?

To make sure your customers get what they need, it is important to have a clear plan in place to respond to every individual request. Here is a 6-step approach to make sure that every customer enquiry is managed effectively.

  1. Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service
  2. Understand and categories the type of enquiry
  3. Know the individual customer
  4. Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need
  5. Respond as quickly as you can
  6. Provide follow up contact details and information

Now let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.

Have clear policies in place to provide a consistent level of customer service

Whilst it’s important to treat each customer as an individual, it is essential to also have a consistent and fair approach to make sure everyone gets the same level of service.

Ensuring that there are agreed customer service and social media policies to define how everyone in your organisation responds to customers is a great idea. These should outline things like the tone of voice and a clear strategy on how to approach each customer enquiry.

policies to provide a consistent level of customer service

Making sure that a high-level customer service approach is available, agreed on and regularly updated will make you maintain a consistent approach in the first instance.

Understand and categories the type of enquiry

To respond to customer enquiries as efficiently as possible, the first thing that you should do is categories the type of enquiry. Having defined types of customer service enquiries such as: request for information; complaint; advocate; common enquiry; etc. is an excellent starting point.

If your organisation is aware of the types of enquiries, it can further develop a strategy for dealing with these in the quickest and simplest way possible.

categories customer service enquiries

There can be some very quick turnarounds if you effectively categories enquiries and deal with the simple and common requests as quickly as possible. This can keep the caseload down and result in more and more customers that are satisfied with the quick turnaround.

Obviously a CRM system would be an effective tool to help achieve this and links into the next point.

Know the individual customer

As the first point mentions, having a high-level strategy and clear policies are important. Additionally, good customer service agents will use everything that they know about each individual customer to provide customised service.

customer service treating everyone as an individual

Think of a time when you got a copy/pasted reply to an enquiry compared to one where it was clear that the responder had taken the time to get to know you and your individual case. Was there a big difference? We’re sure that you’ll agree that there is normally a massive difference with this type of approach. That’s not to say that generic copy/paste or automated responses cannot be effective to provide an initial acknowledgement of the customer service request.

Building up a knowledge bank on each customer at every touchpoint and managing this information will allow you to tailor each response for the individual.

Gather any information to provide the customer with everything that they need

We’ve previously mentioned having high-level policies, categorising enquiries and getting to know the customer. The next step is to make sure that you gather the information that the customer needs to satisfy their request. You need to organise this information in a clear and concise manner so that it can be communicated effectively.

gathering information

For complaints, you might need more detailed investigation whereas you may also have a knowledge bank of custom responses that can help you deal with common requests. Using this information along with what you know about the customer, means that you will be able to provide the most effective response.

Respond as quickly as you can

It goes without saying really, that getting back to a customer service enquiry as quickly as possible will go a long way to keeping customers happy.

That being said, make sure that you cover everything that is needed before providing a hasty response. Those extra few minutes can make all the difference between a completely satisfied customer and someone that will come back with a further enquiry.

good customer service means responding quickly

One thing we mentioned previously was automated responses. These can be effective as an acknowledgement of receiving an enquiry but should be used sparingly so that your approach is personalised.

Provide follow up with contact details and information

When you have followed your customer service policy and formatted a response that will meet the customers need, you should not always leave it at that.

Provide clear and concise information on how they can take next steps to get them where they or you would like them to be can make all the difference.

Having a clear call to action that could push them to buy or even just provide an easier method to get in touch can be a much more effective approach that just trying to close off a customer service case.

following up

Being proactive and going out of your way to go the extra mile for the customer whether they have contacted you with a complaint or compliment really does add the personal touch.


Here we have look at what is good customer service and how you can use and effective strategy to deal with customer service requests. If there is anything that has worked well for you, please feel free to drop us a comment below.

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Images credit to Unsplash.