DSC Tech Library
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to CRM Solutions and Customer relationship management software and products.
Providing customer service is vital to maintaining successful business relationships. Accurate and timely information provided in a professional manner is the key to any business and service operation.
Our CRM software application TELEMATION, was developed with this in mind. But the ability to change is just as important in this ever changing business environment.
Telemation call center software was designed from the very beginning for this environment.
Many call center managers, with unique and changing requirements, have chosen and continue to use our CRM software as their solution of choice.
Our contact center CRM solution is ideally suited for call center service bureaus.
The Five Essentials of Multi-channel Marketing
By: Tom Herrmann, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Business Development
Multi-channel shoppers are spending more and leaving activity trails more frequently as integrated, customer-centric marketing strategies continue to produce solid returns for companies.
Double Click's 2002 holiday shopping survey of 1,000 retailers reports multi-channel shoppers spent 39 percent more on average than single-channel buyers, and more than half of the multi-channel buyers input catalog and e-mail promotional codes when shopping online.
The payoff for merchants, though, doesn't just end with web site clicks and cash register rings.
Multi-channel retailers are experiencing solid growth and lower customer acquisition costs, according to an annual online retail study from Shop.org and The Boston Consulting Group.
Between 1998 and 2002, multi-channel retailers saw a combined aggregate growth rate (CAGR) of 72 percent, compared with 60 percent for online-only in the same four-year period. Multi-channel retailers grew 44 percent in 2002 alone. In addition, the cost to acquire customers fell 64 percent from 1999 to 2001.
Clearly, multi-channel tactics offer the greatest opportunity to boost sales, enhance branding, encourage customer loyalty and reduce costs.
Effectively implementing an integrated marketing strategy means keeping in mind a few essentials.
What Do You Prefer?
A broad approach to multi-channel direct marketing begins with your database. Shop.org and The Boston Consulting Group's 2002 survey found 55 percent of companies were able to use their customer information effectively for target marketing but only 39 percent could create customer profiles across multiple channels. You need to ask some basic questions about customer behavior in order to build robust customer profiles - where do they shop; what are their spending habits; and, what is their most preferred means for making purchases? Do your customers or prospects prefer to shop by catalog, online or in-person? Can you glean data from how your customers prefer to interact with you? For example, do customer service contacts occur more frequently by phone, fax, mail or e-mail?
Rely on the strengths each channel brings to your campaign but be consistent. If you send an e-mail and follow it with a direct mail piece, keep the pitch and call-to-action the same. If you support a direct marketing campaign with traditional print or electronic advertising, look for elements that can establish consistency between off-line, online and on-air. The use of similar design, layout, color and fonts also should be factors.
Repeat After Me
Repetition is a critical factor in a multi-channel campaign; however, it doesn't mean sending one direct mail piece after another. Your prospects may respond best to direct mail, but you can pre-announce any direct mail offer with an initial e-mail or follow-up on an advertising offer with a postcard. The goal of repetition is top-of-mind awareness of your offer or message with customers and prospects, but the challenge lies in preventing prospect annoyance.
Use E-mail, But Not Exclusively
Because you can include links to relevant information and offer levels of exclusivity, e-mail becomes a powerful marketing tool in communicating one-on-one with a prospect. E-mail does have an impact on off-line purchasing as Double Click's 2002 e-mail study reveals 78 percent of online shoppers purchased after clicking through an e-mail link and 59 percent purchased in a store after receiving a merchant e-mail. Online browsing and buying should see continued growth in 2003 as 59 percent of multi-channel shoppers intend to browse more and 45 percent expect to buy more.
Since consumers are inundated with messages daily, getting your prospects to opt-in or, even better, double opt-in, is critical if e-mail is to complement a multi-channel campaign. Be sure you are taking advantage of every direct contact to ask your customers for their e-mail addresses and permission to engage in ongoing communication. Differentiation also is key in preventing your messages from getting lost with unsolicited communication or winding up in bulk mail folders. For prospects, personalize your offer and request their opt-in as often as possible.
With each response and every closed sale, you will be able to refine your campaign's metrics and data. Tracking each individual channel's response rate allows you to adjust other channel strategies or plan for future campaigns. It is also critical to track your top performing customers as well as the low performing customers. What media can you use to up-sell a customer who has already purchased from you? What channels or touch-points can you use to fully enhance communication and establish customer loyalty? For the low performers, consider whether the right offer is being promoted; if you are communicating too frequently, or not enough; or, if these customers historically respond best to online or off-line marketing.
Multi-channel marketing can be an effective strategy even for companies with limited marketing resources. Being aware of the key essentials of:
will improve your prospects for multi-channel marketing success.
- customer preferences,
- e-mail integration, and
Tom Herrmann, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Business Development
Mailnet Services, Inc. is located in Nashville, Tenn. and helps businesses deliver electronic messages and direct mail for marketing campaigns through two main online products. Mailnetexpress.com is an Internet-based communications service that integrates direct mail, email, and fax messaging. Listcleanup.com was the first to provide list hygiene via the Internet. MSI is one of the largest, fastest and most cost-effective Internet list processing services in the database management industry.