Before we get to the alarm clock, let’s first try to take a broad look at the interesting-sounding acronym CRM, Customer Relationship Management, and start from the back.
Management means that we control something or consciously influence it. In order to control something, we must know the goal and have some tools to achieve it. It may take us a while, but in time we will probably find that we are somewhere completely different from what we wanted to be.
If we are consistent followers of Eastern spiritual teachings, then we will probably accept a similar situation and accept it as an opportunity for spiritual growth, which the higher wisdom has given us by the universe. Subsequently, we sell what is left of our company, deregister the trade, and, dressed in a strip of fabric; we walk barefoot around the world. But we are probably internally set up so that we would rather avoid a similar situation, so we try to find the most important places that determine the success of our business, and keep these places under control. They really are driving and caring for them.
What deserves our greatest attention is precisely the mentioned Customer, and in order for anyone to become our customer and stay for a long time, we need to establish and, above all, maintain a Relationship.
The English customer itself already carries the meaning of a long-term or returning customer, but in Czech equivalents, this meaning of permanence appears most prominently only in the colloquial word regular, which unfortunately is not much used outside of hospitality. For the sake of clarity, however, imagine the regular (ie, the customer). It has its habits and expectations, and it is good that we, as service providers, can observe them without having to explicitly ask for them. He likes to belong somewhere, and he is pleased that he is also recognized as a member of a community, that the innkeeper distinguishes him from random visitors and remembers his name, nickname, or surname. And importantly, he is not a slave who depends only on us. He can always choose another supplier, so it is important to offer him the standard he expects. He needs to know what he’s up to; he likes clear agreements and their implementation. Repeated promises, their non-compliance, and subsequent excuses will reliably discourage him because they do not meet his need for respect, he will start to legitimately suspect us that we prefer other opportunities or customers. In short, regulars don’t like it when you somehow neglect it in the service, when it is overtaken by another customer.
Four messages from a regular, ie, a customer, to an innkeeper, ie, an entrepreneur
- I’m glad you know me and can offer me what I can really use.
- I like direct communication without dialing and when what is agreed applies.
- I appreciate everything I know that I am a respected partner in our relationship.
- I’m glad I’m your customer, but I won’t try to talk about us being one family or friends for me; I won’t change my family or circle of friends because of your offer.
What should be your response to these messages? It is very simple. Be attentive and honest with your customers.