Thanks to the latest technology and the lightning-fast digital transformation, a real “customer revolution” occurs. A new kind of customer has emerged: a well-informed and socially engaged customer. Integrating your affiliate marketing business with a CRM tool can do wonders to your sales. Let’s find out how!
Table of contents
- The modern customer
- Customer experience is a top priority.
- How to get started with CRM?
- Keep in touch through CRM software
- Listening to customer feedback
- Create personal relationships
- Offer the customer what he (really) wants.
- Customer support with attention
- Respond to requests quickly
- Keep track of what the customers want
The customer no longer buys from you because of the price or the product. It’s all about the customer experience.
To be competitive, you have to exceed expectations and deliver an excellent experience.
In this article, you can read how you can improve the experience you offer your customers with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
The modern customer
The technically-savvy B2B customer does everything digitally: he/she buys via the internet, researches the internet, looks for feedback on social media, and prefers to email rather than to call.
A survey by Maketo shows that 93% of customers start the buying process with a search on the internet. So, they can choose from different products, different services, and even different people to do business with.
But above all, the customer wants an experience!
There is even data to confirm this: as many as 86% of customers are willing to pay more for excellent customer experience.
Especially in the B2B sector.
What can you do to meet the expectations of such a demanding customer?
Customer experience is a top priority.
In a Customer Management IQ survey, nearly 76% of customer relationship managers said the customer experience is a high priority for their business.
According to PwC’s Digital IQ survey, 25% of companies expect their digital business investments to result in better customer experiences.
A study published by Walker further shows that the customer experience is the deciding factor in the purchase. This is more important than product and price.
So what do you need to do to provide your customers with an exceptional experience?
You have to be proactive.
That means: anticipating and responding to the current and future needs of the customer. For this, you have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and go through the purchasing process with him.
Fortunately, technology allows you to take up the challenge – called customer, proactively. And the best technology for this is a CRM software.
If you are already in affiliate marketing software, you are probably using some kind of affiliate marketing software to manage your affiliates and business. All you need to do, is automate the process of keeping in touch with your customers, affiliates and leads, by integrating it with any CRM software of your choice.
Scaleo supports a variety of integrations through API, and you can integrate our affiliate marketing software with thousands of tools and 3rd-party software.
How to get started with CRM?
CRM software gives you a 360-degree overview of your customers, on the basis of which you can then create offers that are precisely tailored to their interests, purchase history, etc.
Let’s have a look at how you can use CRM software to improve customer experience.
Keep in touch through CRM software
Great customer experience is impossible without continuous useful communication. Kevin Stirtz, the author of More Loyal Customers, says in his book:
“Every time we interact with a customer, we influence their decision whether or not to come back to us. We have to deliver a great performance every time; otherwise, we will lose him.”
A CRM system can be very useful here; it is increasingly being used to improve customer loyalty.
How can you ensure that your customers stay satisfied and come back?
The answer: very simple, by keeping in touch!
A CRM system contains all kinds of information about your customers and their interaction with your company, such as previous activities, conversations, and purchases.
Use the system’s data to keep your customers informed about news about your company, offers, affiliate marketing campaigns, and other initiatives. CRM software, just like affiliate marketing software, also allows you to segment your customers and target the right audience with the right targeted message, instead of sending everyone the same information.
Listening to customer feedback
The client is very talkative; he shares his opinions and information about products through various communication channels, such as social media. So, if you always want to stay up to date with the latest developments, listen to what the customer has to say! This is especially true in affiliate marketing, where buying trends vary dramatically and can be influenced by a wide spectrum of factors.
You can do this, for example, by asking customers for their opinion. Send them a survey via email marketing tool and ask them how they feel about your products and services and what you can do to improve their experience. By doing so, you show that they are important to you, their opinion matters and that’s how you keep your customers happy!
Create personal relationships
“CRM” stands for Customer Relationship Management.
For example, you can enter into a unique relationship with affiliates or customer by personalizing your communication.
Customers and affiliates can contact your company through various channels, such as email, telephone, or web form. That contact can go through various departments, such as sales, marketing, or customer service.
CRM software records all of that contact history, regardless of how or the department with which they occur. This way, you and your entire business will have access to the same information. And that’s a ton of useful information!
You can use this to offer the customer a unique experience by addressing them by name or, when they call, knowing exactly what it is about without explaining it again.
If you tailor your communication to the person in question, you will see that the image that the customer has of your company becomes more favorable.
Offer the customer what he (really) wants.
The customer in B2B sector has a lot of choices.
To conquer their hearts and wallets, you have to proactively offer them a suitable product or relevant service.
A CRM system, just like an affiliate software, gives you insight into your customers’ needs because the system tells you which products or services they are interested in, what they have inquired about, or what they have already bought. You also know what challenges they faced and whether they were satisfied with the solution offered.
In other words, based on the history of your interaction with the customer, stored in the CRM system, you can offer them what they really want, not what you think they want.
With CRM, you can also let your customers sign up for newsletters and choose which messages they wish to receive. This is very important to comply with the GDPR, the European data protection law.
Customer support with attention
Unique customer experience in B2B also means that you offer your customers help and support in the way and when they need it.
Remember that the customer prefers to communicate online about troubleshooting and handling complaints.
And that is exactly what an integration with CRM can offer you.
Customer service software, when integrated in your affiliate business, ensures that no customer inquiries are lost because every request is registered in a central system that can be viewed online. If a customer has submitted a request, you can send an automatic confirmation of receipt.
This email may contain a tracking number, information about the received request, and even a reference to the FAQs (frequently asked questions) and links to other sources such as the knowledge base. This way, all customer requests are handled, and they do not remain unanswered in a mailbox of your support team.
Respond to requests quickly
If the customer has a question, they want an immediate answer. In today’s fast-paced world, there is no time for delay. If you don’t respond quickly enough, you risk losing your client.
You would expect (big and established) companies to respond quickly to customer queries, right? Customer service benchmark report, however, proved the opposite.
For example, 62% of the companies surveyed did not answer emails with customer requests at all.
It was also found that the average reaction speed is over 12 hours.
With CRM software, you can respond faster to customer questions by using ready-made email templates. You can quickly answer the most frequently asked questions by choosing the right template from the system.
Another advantage of using templates is that you consistently use the same writing style and your own corporate identity in every email.
Whether you have an affiliate network or just an affiliate software attached to your main business, you will probably have dozens of support requests daily, and most of them will be repeated questions that can be addressed with a “canned” reply.
Keep track of what the customers want
The client doesn’t just want to be listened to; he also wants a response on his own terms.
The typical B2B customer sees many competing offers on the internet. That is why you have to be quick with your own offer; otherwise, you run the risk of not selling anything.
If you implement a CRM solution, you can communicate faster.
When closing a deal (especially over the phone) in a B2B sector, it is very important to have access to all customer information and to be able to offer a suitable product. That’s why you need to gather that information and have everything available in front of you.
Mobile-supported CRM tools offers you a better customer experience by providing you with the latest information about products, sales or contracts instantly, as well as quickly responding to customer inquiries – whether you’re in the office or on the go. You never have to keep the customer waiting.
Furthermore, with mobile CRM, you can take follow-up action on leads and seize opportunities at the right time. You don’t have to wait for your colleague to return to the office and tackle the task.
In today’s world – which is dominated by technology, the B2B customer has a whole new set of requirements and expectations. They expect you to do business with them on their terms.
The client wants you to know who he is, understand his specific situation, maintain contact with him, listen to his wishes, and respond quickly and attentively when he has a question.
You can do all this and more by integrating your business with a CRM software.
If your business is powered by an affiliate software, it already provides you with all the technical data in the world. But, with a CRM tool, you get a 360-degree overview of your customers and affiliates and it does not matter who communicates with them. It also gives you a chance to:
- personalize your communication with your clients and affiliates,
- provide relevant content and service to your clients and affiliates,
- respond quickly to your customers and affiliates requests,
- leave no question unanswered.
That means a good customer experience, and many happy clients and affiliates who are eager to promote your business.