Magazine article CRM Magazine

Get Personal or Get Abandoned

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Get Personal or Get Abandoned

Article excerpt

TODAY'S informed, socially connected, and empowered customers often consume large volumes of information before making a purchase. The best chance a company has at regularly winning a customer's business is to make sure the information it presents is relevant to each customer's needs. To know what is relevant to each customer, though, requires organizations to break old massmarketing habits and create more personal interactions.

This doesn't mean that marketers should simply send out emails with the recipient's name at the top, nor does it require employees to strike up irrelevant conversations to feign interest in customers. What it means, however, is that organizations know their customers well enough to anticipate their needs and present them with offers that are timely and relevant. That, in turn, would improve customer trust, foster loyalty, and increase revenue.

Take retail banks as an example. Knowing that a customer recently purchased a house could trigger a well-timed message about a home equity line of credit that can be used for a variety of large household expenses, such as furnishing or remodeling the home. Or, if a father creates a custodial account for his newborn daughter, information about how to save for her future with a 529 college savings plan might set his mind at ease.

Unfortunately, most banks are not that sophisticated, according to the article "Report Suggests Retail Banks Need an Overhaul" (page 18), by News Editor Leonard Klie. One industry pundit states that banks "still cannot identify who their best customers are, let alone identify appropriate products, pricing, servicing, and channels for them." The article offers some useful tips for organizations in any industry on how to become more customer-centric and, thereby, more personal.

The desire to be treated as an individual and not a number or eyeball on a Web page is nothing new. …

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