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

Conclusion

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.

Digital Marketing: Your Guide to Excellent Customer Service

Image of person replying to comments on phone

Social media is a great platform for online marketing and encouraging website traffic, however you should also be using it to establish your brand reputation and build valuable customer relationships by providing quality customer service.

How can good customer service maximise sales?

According to an American Express Global Customer Service Survey, 78% of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.

Good customer service allows you to build trust with your consumer, as well as providing them with tailored information about your product or service. On social media, all comments are in the public eye, meaning it’s especially important to showcase how you treat your customers to a wider audience. Interacting online also gives you better understanding of your customers so you can develop and tailor future content to their interests.

Interacting on social media is an example of a ‘touchpoint’. This is any interaction that the company has with customers or prospects. The better this experience is, the more likely it is that your business will retain the customer or sell to the prospect. For new customers, this can be the ’Reach’ stage of the Customer Lifecycle, the point when you first make contact with your potential customer. For existing customers, customer support aids the ‘Retention’ stage, where you continue to build and maintain your relationship with that customer.

Diagram showing Customer Lifecycle

So, how do I do it?

You know why good customer care is important, but what can you do to make sure you’re providing it? Here’s some of our top tips:

  • Tone of voice – reply to queries professionally, clearly and in a friendly manner. Depending on the nature of your business, replies can also incorporate humour.
  • Personalise – reply to each comment independently and address the user by their name. Do not use an automated reply system on social media as they may not match the situation and could deter the customer. Take the time to respond directly to your followers as needed to create a relationship and answer their question.
  • Solve the issue – provide a clear solution to the customer’s query. If you aren’t sure, politely ask for more information. If you are not able to find a solution, offer alternatives such as similar products or services that your company could provide.
  • Response time – responding quickly will prevent the customer losing interest and going elsewhere.
  • Be consistent and fair – treat each customer with the same level of service regardless of your relationship with them.
  • Provide follow up – provide ‘next steps’ information such as a contact number, email or web address. Adding a call to action can also encourage traffic to your website, allowing users to discover and potentially invest in your products/services that they were not initially looking for.
  • Use positive language – Redirecting a conversation from negative to positive places focus on a proposed solution and can avoid conflict from miscommunication.
  • Finally, remember to reply to all comments, even if they aren’t a query or complaint. A simple ‘thank you’ on a positive comment shows the customer that you value their custom and appreciate good feedback.

Put your knowledge to the test – apply for a digital marketing apprenticeship

Customer service is a key competency in the Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship. Digital marketers define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention.

Find out more about the latest digital apprenticeships available and a host of apprenticeship information on our website, ApprenticeTips.com.

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Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship

Customer Service Practitioner Apprenticeship

Do you enjoy helping customer find the products, or services, that they are looking for? Whether face-to-face or online, as a level 2 customer service apprentice, you could play a key role in delivering products or services to an organisations customers. Keep reading to find out more about what this entails, and how to get started with becoming a customer service apprentice.

Key Responsibilities Of A Customer Service Apprentice

Your responsibilities as a Customer Service Apprentice will be to deliver your organisation’s high quality products and services to customers. How that is done will depend on your organisation, but could be:

  • From the workplace, such as by phone
  • Digitally, such as via email or live chat
  • Face-to-face, such as during an on-site visit to a customer

In order to fulfil your role, it will be important for you to understand your organisation, who your customers are, and have an understanding of the products or services that are available to your customers.

You will get a better understanding of exactly what your role will require at interview, as every organisation will be slightly different. But, we cover what you will need to know and do as part of your apprenticeship.

Level 2 customer service practitioner

Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours

The standards for your customer service apprenticeship are broken down into three sections: knowledge, skills, and behaviours. These are the standards you will need to meet and demonstrate in order to complete your apprenticeship.

Knowledge

  • Understand who your customers are, if they are internal or external, and understand the different needs and priorities of your customers
  • Understand your business’ purpose and know the core values behind your business, as well as know internal policies and procedures, and what your business offers
  • Know and understand relevant regulations for your business, and what your responsibilities are with regards to those regulations
  • Know how to use the systems and solutions within your business in order to sufficiently support your customers
  • Understand your role and how your position fits in to the wider organisation, as well as how your duties contribute towards targets and goals
  • Understand how to establish the facts of a case, and how to build trust with a customer in order to help resolve their issue and provide an appropriate response

Skills

  • Use a range of interpersonal skills effectively, including listening, responsing to build trust and rapport, and understanding the customers’ point of view to manage expectations
  • Effectively communicate verbally and non-verbally, with an appropriate tone of voice for your organisation’s brand image
  • Provide clear explanations and allow customer to make decisions that are beneficial for everyone
  • Organise your own time and workload, and prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines

Behaviours

  • Be responsible for keeping your knowledge and skills up to date, and set and meet personal goals for development
  • Take on feedback and constructive criticism in order to continuously develop your knowledge and skills
  • Work and communicate effectively within a team in order to better serve your customers
  • Treat customers with respect for them as an individual, and provide a personalised customer service experience, while maintaining your business’ core values
  • Dress and communicate in an appropriately professional manner

Becoming A Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner

If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship as a level 2 Customer Service Practitioner, you will first need to meet the entry requirements. You are required to have achieved level 1 English and Maths. And, you will need to take level 2 English and Maths tests before the completion of your apprenticeship.

Then, you should contact a training provider. Training providers often help with recruitment and placement, so may be able to help you find a role that is near you.

Conclusion

It is clear that the level 2 customer service practitioner apprenticeship is perfect for anyone who hopes to start a career helping customers to the best of their ability. If you take pride in the service you provide and love to help people, and want to further develop the skills needed to do this, then this course is a good choice for you.

To get started, get in touch with Apprentice Tips so we can help you find a training provider that is right for you.