I have been serving customers, guests, clients, friends and family for over 23 years. Serving customers has brought me more and more into the realm of technology where I have been blown away by what I can buy to help me "manage" those relationships better, more effectively, faster.
With new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology I can cross reference data until my imagination becomes tired, extract a myriad of reports, know in detail who is saying what to whom and when in my organization. In different organizations I have seen staff spend hours and hours typing up phone calls, meetings and other interactions - I have also seen these system unused, these entries unread. As much as organizations like to believe their CRM software will keep their staff informed in reality people like to talk to people about people. This is why I see a return to human customer relationship management, the return of the Relationship Manager - the point of contact for the customer and the organization.
23 years ago, as a student, I started out working with a famous hotel chain and they taught me something very valuable - good customer relationship management. Now this was never based on needing to know everything about the guest in fact respect for privacy was always a priority, no, good customer relationship management was about the human touch, the relationship between the customer and me.
10 Good Customer Relationship Management Tips
- Respect your customer and that means respecting their right for you not to know everything about them.
- Show genuine interest and learn to actively listen, aim to always help.
- Trust is everything.
- No surprises. Do not let your customer or client find out about something that impacts on them from another source.
- Give notice, if something is going to change let your customer know in advance and prepare them for the change.
- Be professional, never talk about other clients or customers to others,
- Put the customer first; even if you do not agree actively try and come to a good solution.
- Stay in touch.
- Always say hello, if you are at an event or just walking down the street, always acknowledge with a smile.
- Ah yes, always acknowledge with a smile.
Nic Howard is a website planner and lover of excellent customer service.