5 Methods to Find Your Best CRM Channels
If the goal of customer relationship management (CRM) is to meet consumers' needs on an individual basis, then there's not much more Hyundai could've done to help "Joe Sample" of "Any Town" arrive on time for the 45,000-mile service check on his Santa Fe. But Hyundai could optimize the channel used to contact Sample, and the auto manufacturer did so based on customer responsiveness, to the tune of double-digit reductions in print expenses.
So says Jeff Caplan, partner and vice president of 89 Degrees, a Burlington, Mass.-based marketing solutions provider. His company helped client Hyundai determine the best channels for CRM by letting customer preferences lead the way.
Agreeing with Caplan are: Gaurav Bazaz, president of San Jose, Calif.-based on-demand email and phone marketing services provider Pravega Inc.; and Patrick Surry, global solutions owner, customer analytics, at Pitney Bowes Business Insight, a Troy, N.Y.-based provider of customer data, analytics and communication software and services. Here's their advice on how they pick the best channels for CRM efforts:
1. Monitor customer response. At first, Santa Fe owner Sample heard from Hyundai in two channels, according to Caplan.
"We provided email and [direct mail] and observed who clicked, printed coupons, etc.," he says. "We used this data to identify e-responsive owners, and then reduced DM to them and increased [the] email stream. We got to know what types of behaviors were most indicative of e-engaged owners and, hence, who could be removed from DM. Once removed, we continued to monitor their activity, both with respect to e-activity and dealer visits, and made decisions on [the contact] channel from there."
2. Know the strengths of each channel for CRM. Bazaz says: "Direct marketers are still using all three main DM channels: Direct mail, telemarketing and email for CRM. … DM and telemarketing are still more powerful as customer acquisition channels, while email is far and away the most-used customer retention channel."