thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz

Top 5 Tips for Retailers to connect with Customers

A few days ago I was asked for my top 5 tips for retailers on how to connect with their customers, limited to 100 words. For a topic that one could write a novel on … Well, here is my answer: –       Help customers solving their problem. This distinguishes and makes you found by the customer –       Marketing/loyalty programs offer your customers value and are not mere vehicles to gather more data points –       Simplify your customers’ life, e.g. with a card wallet instead of own app that directly integrates with your CRM and POS –       Relevant communications at the right time, place with the right content – without appearing intrusive. For this you need to know your customer –       Consistent communications across channels and interactions, optimized for used touch point They probably need some more elaboration, especially the last one. First and foremost, the reason for any business to exist is making profit for its owners. This is not equal to producing and selling things (or providing a service) with a margin. The business will succeed only if it focuses on identifying its customers needs and then delivering solutions for these needs. It is not about pushing a product into the market (mostly, consider that needs can be created by smart businesses). This thought is well in the domain of Service Dominant Logic although I am not a strong proponent. Marketing and loyalty programs are important interaction vehicles between businesses and their customers. Both, especially loyalty programs, need to be set up to be mutually beneficial. It is not only about gathering more customer data that can be...

Social Shopping – A Retail Future

A while ago I blogged about threats and solutions in the retail industry that have their origin in rise of social media; with this post I would like to continue on this topic, focusing on possible solutions for retail companies. This blog also ties in to a recent article by Mark Tamis on Social CRM in Retail. In his article Mark describes an interesting and elaborate scenario that showcases a technology enabled, consumer and network driven decision process, using the example of buying a party dress. This example is interesting because, although the process is entirely consumer driven, the involved companies use the technology to add value to the customer, thus achieving a win-win situation. What the involved companies (a retailer and a hairdresser) are doing is establishing customer loyalty by [unordered_list style=”green-dot”] Engaging the customer Providing a superior shopping experience, combining online and offline aspects Enabling the customer to get immediate feedback from their network [/unordered_list] With this the two involved companies manage to align their interests with the customer’s interests. In other words, they are distinguishing themselves through service, instead of price. Trying to achieve loyalty through the offer of “least price” is a surefire way to death. To quote the 1986 Highlander movie: There can be only one. Although the scenario described by Mark sounds very advanced it isn’t. The enabling technologies exist and “just” need to be tied together. We are not talking Star Trek here. I really like this scenario as it depicts what could be. Still, integration is a hard business. Because of this I would like to come forward with another scenario...

Some Klout Score Musings

Today I’d like to present some musings about the klout score. Now, mine is not particularly high – actually it is pretty low – as you can see below; but the curve is interesting, if set into a context. So far I only followed my klout score pretty idly, till I started to do some minor experiments on 16.02.2011. You see some immediate effect on the day after. This is mainly due to me posting a blog entry and communicating this via Twitter and LinkedIn. There also should be a communication via CIBER’s Twitter account. This usually leads to a few clicks and one or two followers on Twitter. However, the real point I’d like to draw your attention to is the 22.02.2011. This is the day the 6.3 earthquake struck in Christchurch downtown and caused severe devastation. As you may know, I normally blog about CRM and social CRM on the CIBER site, so that event is clearly outside my usual activity. Now the catch is: I do live in Christchurch and quite some of my network friends do know this. So I did some simple things by updating my status in the few networks that I actively use: [unordered_list style=”green-dot”] LinkedIn with direct update to Twitter Facebook XING [/unordered_list] As you can imagine this still caused some reactions of my friends – quite some of which are real life friends. Of course there are still one or two CRM related posts of mine in there, plus an opinion on a political matter in Germany, but the majority of all conversations deals with the Christchurch quake, and the...