In recent years, Customer Relationship Management systems have evolved to become more than just tools for contact management.
With 2023 approaching, it's more important than ever for companies to know how to leverage customer relationship marketing to drive sales and retain customers.
Historically, statistics have shown that poor customer experience equates to low customer retention. In fact, 67% of customers switch businesses due to a bad experience.
There are several customer relationship marketing tactics that businesses can use to improve the customer experience and keep them coming back for more. In this guide, we take a look at 5 customer marketing trends expected to be of utmost importance in 2023.
What Is Customer Relationship Marketing?
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Customer relationship marketing refers to the collection of methodologies that aim to increase customer lifetime value by delivering better service, improving the customer experience, and strengthening the relationship between the buyer and seller.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are popular tools used to maintain contact with customers, manage client engagements, organize tasks, and provide analytics on sales reports.
For instance, HelpSpace is a customer support tool that simplifies customer support, owing to its intuitive interface, self-service sites, and multiple inbound channels.
CRMs not only serve as a client management platform but they make it possible for marketers to gain insight into their target audiences. CRMs can also sync up with marketing automation tools that automate certain processes through workflows.
How Customer Relationship Marketing is Different From Other Forms of Marketing?
Marketing that aims to cultivate stronger relationships with existing customers is sometimes referred to as "relationship marketing." As mentioned above, CRM systems are often used to manage client engagements.
The main difference between relationship marketing and customer relationship marketing is that the latter refers to using tactics/methodologies to increase customer value so they spend more with your business.
This method of marketing requires businesses to not only improve customer service but also expedite certain processes through workflow automation.
How Does Customer Relationship Marketing Help in Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty is imperative for businesses since it is challenging to acquire new customers. Poor customer service costs American companies a whopping $62 billion annually.
Building long-term customer relationships are essential for businesses since they help drive revenue growth. Proper customer relationship marketing also prevents high churn rates, which is the number of customers who leave during a particular period.
In fact, Hubspot research showed that 93% of customers make repeat purchases if they're happy with a company's service.
This is where customer relationship marketing comes in. By engaging with customers and providing them with a positive experience, businesses can increase customer loyalty and encourage them to stick around for the long haul.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools enable you to connect with past and present customers and understand key aspects of their purchase journey so as to find ways to create loyalty.
5 Customer Relationship Marketing Strategies
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The pandemic has changed customer behavior along with the way businesses now work. On top of that, technological advancements have made customers habitual of quick service and automation.
All these trends, and many others, are most likely to continue into 2023. Here are some customer relationship marketing trends to look out for.
1. Increased Use of AI and Chatbots
In 2023, chatbots will become an even more integral part of customer service. They will be used to answer customer questions, resolve issues, and even provide recommendations.
Smart marketing automation will be crucial in helping companies reach out to prospects at just the right time via push notifications, emails, and SMS messages.
Additionally, chatbots can improve the customer experience by automating repetitive tasks such as answering FAQs, providing updates about shipment tracking information, etc., which allows agents more time to engage with customers in real time.
Gartner's CIO Agenda Survey from 2019 showed that 14% of the CIOs worldwide had deployed artificial intelligence. Other organizations are expected to follow suit.
Natural Language Processing is also expected to be abundantly in use in 2023, considering the customers' reliance on voice search technology. A 2019 Microsoft report showed that 72% of people conduct voice searches through a digital assistant.
2. Personalized Experiences
To provide an excellent customer experience, businesses need to personalize their interactions with customers, and this means understanding their needs and preferences and catering to them accordingly.
Personalized experiences have resulted in increased sales, reduced churn rates, and higher customer satisfaction.
In 2023, there will be significant focus on personalization to increase customer engagement. This could include recommendations based on previous purchases or events trending in different regions.
57% of buyers share their personal information, such as email addresses, if they get personalized offers from a company. Meanwhile, 52% are likely to switch to another place if a company fails to personalize its message to them.
Customers want a personalized experience whenever they're interacting with brands. So, businesses need to ensure a seamless connection between their CRM, marketing automation, and customer service platforms to make this possible.
3. Usage of IoT Technologies
Internet of Things devices is becoming increasingly common. Fierce Electronics reported in 2019 that 93% of enterprises had adopted IoT technology. The rise of this technology will continue. By 2023, there will be even more devices connected to the internet.
This provides marketers with a wealth of customer data that can be used to personalize interactions and experiences.
IoT devices can help businesses track customer behavior, preferences, and sentiments in real-time. This data can then be used to create targeted marketing campaignsands improve product development.
To make use of IoT technologies, businesses need to ensure that their CRM solutions are integrated with these devices. Additionally, they need to have a data management system in place to make sense of all the data that will be collected.
If Covid-19 has taught businesses one thing, they cannot rely only on in-office equipment and systems. Mobility will be a substantial defining feature of customer relationship marketing in 2023 as customers become more and more reliant on mobile devices.
Covid-19 showed that top brands are integrating mobility into their customer experience in a big way. An excellent example of this is Amazon's Alexa, which was recently updated with its payment system. Other marketers must follow suit if they want to make the most of this trend.
According to MarTech Advisor, mobile customer relationship marketing solutions have a lot to offer:
Strong security features
Apps that can work across multiple platforms
The ability of sales professionals to transition between offline and online environments easily
5. Customer Journey Through Immersive Technologies
Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, will also be necessary in 2023 in terms of customer marketing. Some businesses already use these technologies to create more engaging customer experiences. An excellent example in this regard is Asos. Even before the pandemic, Asos was using augmented reality, and the company's Virtual Catwalk feature allowed Asos mobile app users to visualize 100 design products.
In 2020, Asos scaled up with its ''See My Fit'' technology that allowed app users to ''wear'' the clothes digitally onto models of different body sizes. This way, customers could check if they like the outfit before purchasing it.
According to Globe News Wire, the global augmented reality market is expected to reach $88.4 billion by 2026. This gives businesses a huge opportunity to connect with their customers in new and innovative ways.
Augmented reality can provide product demonstrations, allow customers to explore products before making a purchase, and even provide after-sales support. VR can be used for training, brand storytelling, and customer retention initiatives.
Moreover, augmented reality can be used to create more personalized customer experiences. For instance, a customer could be given a virtual makeover using the brand's products. To take advantage of immersive technologies, businesses need to ensure that their marketing and CRM platforms are compatible with these technologies. They also need to have trained staff in how to use them.
Businesses should experiment with these technologies to see how they can be used to improve customer engagement. The possibilities are endless.
In conclusion, customer relation marketing will be as imperative in 2023, if not more, as it has always been. But organizations will have to take a different and more tech-inclined approach to reach customers and appeal to their interests.
Moreover, customer marketing must account for the rapid changes brought about by Covid-19, such as increased mobility and the rising popularity of immersive technologies.
Organizations that can keep up with these trends will be better positioned to succeed in the coming years.