FCT | Broker’s corner. End to end customer relationship toolkits—is 2015 the year to make the leap?

Jan 14th, 2015 | By FCT

Part three of our three-part 2015 look ahead series

So now you have your three-word brand essence, your brand’s innermost story, the three words we generated last time and now’s the moment to take your brand public.

Ready?

A gentle reminder before you read on: it’s not about you. That’s the first thing.

Social networks—peer-to-peer reviews, self-help forums, the ability to query just about anybody anywhere—have so radically changed client expectations for any retail experience that we sometimes lose track of just how much things have changed. And response times to client queries—and the ability to converse with them, knowing full well where they actually are in their search/deal process—is gold.

But that’s not all.

Take reputation management: a simple misunderstanding can be shared to hundreds if not thousands of people in a heartbeat.

Once you recognize that it’s not about you, there’s a clear route forward: what legendary business thinker, author, and Harvard Business Review contributor Jim Collins calls SMaC in his bestselling Great by Choice.

What’s SMaC? SMaC tands for: simple, methodical and consistent. For as Collins says (and this guy runs the best business think tank on the planet in Boulder, Colorado): ”greatness is not a function of circumstance. It’s largely a function of conscious choice and discipline.”

That’s the irreducible truth.

And by far the best way to accomplish SMaC—the discipline—in relating to and with your clients is an end-to-end customer relationship toolkit. We’re not going to recommend a particular solution (too many variables in your business for that) but rather scope out how to ask the right questions before you sign on the dotted line.

Anyone can spend ten minutes googling and see that there are platforms and dashboards and analytic tools galore. Here’s a great, inexpensive custom dashboard solution: www.cyfe.com is cheap, almost infinitely customizable and if you know what you’re looking for, using a custom dashboard to track client interactions can create huge value in evolving your relationship with your current and future clients. Note that this isn’t just a social media relationship solution: a custom dashboard like this, properly configured, will tell you tons about the client/customer side of your business. (Big personal learning from deploying cyfe? Testing simple Facebook ads—testing one ad against the other—costs pennies but generates sales lift of over 200%. That’s a wow.)

What are potential clients actually thinking? what are they talking about? A simple Twitter hashtag search will tell you far more than any StatsCan datapoint; try #mortgagequestions and #buyingahouse for starters. Try it right now…get the picture? Good.

But what to do with this juicy client insight data once you have it?

You want a customer relationship management system: even a simple open source customer relationship management (CRM) system will lift your lead generation numbers.

First off, a CRM system is no small investment, not just in hard-earned dollars but in time to learn the thing. Don’t subscribe to one without a dead clear understanding of what the outcomes you’re after truly are—and what your ROI targets are: not just for leads, but actual converted deals, networked referrals and leads stemming from those networked referrals.

Here’s why you want to understand the power of a CRM system: just look at the response rates by simply, methodically and consistently following up with a client acquisition conversation documented in a CRM (source: www.Velocify.com):

  • 391%: leads called with 60 seconds have a 391% better chance of converting
  • 138%: attempting contact at least six times can increase your deal rate by 138%
  • 3 or more texts: sending three or more purposeful text messages after contact has been made with a prospect can increase the conversion rate by 328%
  • 50%: more than 50% of aging leads are still interested in buying 30 days after inquiry
  • 60%: nearly 60% of salespeople make less than six contact attempts
  • 78%: of buyers close with the company that contacted them first

 

To vet one system against another for your own business, check out this invaluable resource.  Hint: check out the open source solutions first—there’s real horsepower there.

So now you’ve done the heavy lifting: defining your brand, distilling the essence of the stories you want to tell…and thinking about how to continue the relationship your brand storytelling’s begun via a simple dashboard/CRM solution.

You can see ’em, you can talk to ’em and they’re beginning to see value in who you are. What’s next? Having a terrific 2015.

Questions or followup ideas? Email us at expertease@fct.ca—welcome to the conversation.

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