In a CRM environment with a great deal of focus on automation, are we missing the point of CRM altogether?
In its barest form, Customer Relationship Management is just that: managing customer relationships. I think that in our fast-paced, overdrive society we often lose sight of what I consider the most important aspect of CRM, the relationships. In an attempt to save time, increase efficiency, and streamline processes, we are driven to automate as many facets of our CRM efforts as possible. But can you automate a relationship?
Sure, typing up a personalized email (no, not just an email with fields that automatically insert information) takes more time that sending a standard automated response. But put yourself in the place of the consumer; would you rather receive a computer generated response from a company you’re considering spending a considerable amount of money with, or a highly personalized email from a representative that obviously took the time to review your specific needs and craft a response tailored to your specifications? Which one would give you the “warm fuzzies,” an emotional conviction, and make you feel truly comfortable with your investment?
I can’t answer that question for you, but I can say that if I were going to invest a large sum of money with a company, I would want to know that I am not merely a number, not merely a check in the bank. I would want to know that the company has a true interest in my specific and unique requirements, and will be willing and able to assist me in finding a solution.
Today, a hand-written note stands out among the scores of automated messages, so why not take the time to engage in a true relationship with your customer? Never underestimate the “warm fuzzies.”