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Keep A Relationship: Customer Relationship Management

The key to Customer Relationship Management is simply to have a relational plan. The relational plan is based on two primary components:

  • - Database (who and why)
  • - Relational plan (what and when)

Database

There is probably little need to explain why a customer database is important to a company. It is an essential tool for the sales advisor to fully succeed:

  • - Experience shows that even the best sales advisors can only manually—on paper—manage between 20 to 50 customers, which is typically insufficient.
  • - Having a well maintained database is a plus for the company but also for the sales advisor. It allows being able to refer to customer contact information with ease—and without the extra stress of having to remember all the client’s details.

Each country has its own rules concerning privacy and personal information, therefore, we will only offer general guidelines and “golden rules” for succeeding in collecting database information and adhering to the typical opt-in rules.

Asking customers for personal information is sometimes seen as intrusive, but often this is more the perception of the sales advisor rather than the customer. It all depends on what the sales advisor intends to do with the customer’s information and what offers the customer might receive. Customers do not want to miss any opportunities:

  • - Novelties
  • - Promotions
  • - Events
  • - Personalized information

From experience, and as a direct result of a positive customer experience, some trust has been established. If necessary, reassure the customer and leave the door open (Table 5.8.A):

Martial: “Mr. Wang, I am Martial, and here are my contact details with my mobile number so please feel free to ring me for anything. May I also take your contact details because we would like to be able to provide you with all the services you deserve.”

Peter. “Okay. Here is my business card.”

Martial: “Thank you—may I also have your mobile number please?”

Peter. “I am not used to giving out my mobile.”

5 The 7 Steps

Table 5.8.A Customers' information

Type

Information Type

How to Obtain

Direct immediate contact

The most direct means are the most efficient: mobile, social media, email

Ask directly for the customer's cell phone number and preferred social media platform. Get an introduction from another sales advisor and extend your sales advisor social network

Indirect contact

Postal addresses are less important today. Contact Assistant and intermediate persons only if no other option is available

A home address is always sensitive information while not always being very useful. Avoid sending anything to a client's home address. Use only for very special occasions such as an invitation to an event

Quality of information

Customer purchase history, ethnic type, language preferences, age group, profession, residence country

Record all information from customers after conversations. A top sales advisor diligently notes all information obtained after each visit and records it in the database management system

Personal information

Private information such as taste/preferences, family members' names, anniversary dates and so on

Customers sometimes reveal a lot of private information. Research customers on the internet

205

Martial: “Mr. Wang, I will not call you unless absolutely necessary—only in the case of servicing or giving you exceptional offers that you won’t want to miss.”

Peter: “I receive so many spam calls, you cannot imagine.”

Martial: “Be reassured, Mr. Wang. How can I keep on deserving your trust if I call you for just anything? Your mobile must be in Taiwan and starts with 852 right?”

 
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