Many seasoned marketers still remember using the Siebel CRM before the turn of the century. CRM tools have been around for a long time, but many marketers still failed to sync them with their branding strategy.
A CRM is a very useful tool to manage customer relationships. IBM has found that CRM adoption rates in some industries are over 90%. However, they are only useful if they coincide with your branding efforts.
A lot of emphasis is placed on the need to make sure that any CRM tools properly support the company’s brand image. However, making sure your brand reflects customer expectations when they subscribe to your CRM is equally important. You need to be careful not to make the following branding mistakes, so that your CRM strategy will be successfully implemented.
Calibrating customer expectations around your social media
Having a strong social media presence is obviously important for any business in 2018. However, your social media strategy should not be the sole focus of your brand. AdAge’s Marc Brownstein had a discussion with a CEO of an eight figure agency that made this mistake and I can share my own anecdote to support it.
One entrepreneur that I used to mentor used his social media platforms to manage almost every element of his business. He used social media to keep employees connected. He encouraged customers to use Facebook and Twitter as their service support center.
The problem is that this set the standard for unrealistic expectations for customers that enrolled in the CRM. They came to expect instant responses and daily updates. The company would have been better off if they didn’t set the same expectations the customers had with social media.
Failing to establish a reputation for technical competence and trust
The success of your CRM strategy hinges on your ability to entice customers to subscribe and share their details. Unfortunately, getting customers to share their personal contact information is much more difficult than it used to be.
Too many customers have been burned by brands that were victims of data breaches or chose to share their personal information with third parties. Brands that don’t earn the trust of their customers are going to have a very difficult time creating a successful CRM strategy. Demonstrating integrity isn’t enough. They must also show that they are knowledgeable about the risks associated with operating in a digital world.
Why is this important? They need to feel confident that you know how to manage their data properly to prevent a malicious third-party from accessing it.
Building trust is important and it is reflected in everything you do. Even something as simple as having a good logo can make a huge difference. If designing your own logo didn’t work, you need to take another look at it to make sure it comes out better. Otherwise, you will have difficulty establishing trust in your brand, which will hurt your CRM as well.
Being too aggressive with your sales approach
One of the most difficult aspects of customer relationship management is knowing how assertive to be with your sales strategy. If you are too timid with sales outreach, you will have a very difficult time reaching customers. On the other hand, being too aggressive will likely drive them away.
The aggressiveness of your sales strategies will impact your CRM as well. Your customers will be less likely to trust you to add their personal information to your CRM database if they expect you to spam them.
Make sure you find the sweet spot between having an assertive sale strategy and a harmonious relationship with your customers. This will make customers more comfortable engaging with your CRM.
Being too informal with previous communications
When you engage with customers through a CRM, you are probably going to need to be very formal with them. It is a good idea to follow a similar standard in advance. There are two problems that may arise if you do not:
- Customers may doubt your professionalism. This may make them apprehensive about opening the doors to further communication with a CRM.
- On the flipside, they may be put off by your side and candor while using the CRM.
Maintaining a consistent level of formality is key to setting the right expectations with your CRM. Customers will know what to expect, which will help you communicate with them more seamlessly.
Your Branding Impacts Your CRM More than You Would Expect
The soundness of your branding strategy and execution of your CRM are closely interlinked. You need to make sure that your branding strategy is carefully tailored to the expectations you want customers to have about your CRM. Set your goals wisely and keep them in mind while executing all of your branding efforts.