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The ABC of engaging with customers
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Priya Patankar - Head of Communications at PhonePe shares what a good CRM program should ideally do
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The ABC of engaging with customers

Priya Patankar - Head of Communications at PhonePe shares what a good CRM program should ideally do
  • The current pandemic has led to a surge in users trying a plethora of new services and downloading a bunch of new apps for the first time.
  • Given the world is going digital, and a lot of users are new to this world, a well thought and well structured CRM program is imperative for long term customer delight and retention, writes Priya Patankar - Head of Communications at PhonePe.
My mom is new to digital payments. While she has always been an avid online shopper, buying everything from grocery to flowers using an app, she has always preferred using the cash on delivery option for payments. When the pandemic stuck, all payments went digital and that left her in a lurch. Despite my best efforts to get her to try digital payments, it was our friendly neighborhood vegetable vendor who finally convinced her with, ‘’Aunty please download a payment app. Why bother finding the exact change every time you pay.’’ This led to a few frantic
Zoom calls with, ‘’But are payment apps easy to use’’, ‘What if I need help’’’ to ‘’What all can it do.’ It finally took all of ten minutes to onboard her and get her to make her first transaction.

This experience got me thinking that the current pandemic has led to a surge in users trying a plethora of new services and downloading a bunch of new apps for the first time. From online grocery and medicine shopping to yoga on Zoom, online doctor consultation and of course digital payments. Given the world is going digital, and a lot of users are new to this world, a well thought and well structured CRM program is imperative for long term customer delight and retention.

Here’s what a great CRM program should ideally do:

Onboard:
First impression matters! Most of us are spoilt for choice with so many apps vying for our attention. In a cluttered market, smooth and frictionless customer onboarding is the big deciding factor between keeping an app or uninstalling it. For instance, I still remember when I had downloaded (my now favourite) food delivery app they had not only sent me a personalised welcome message, but their support team was also available all along while I placed my first order. The onboarding communication should ideally start as soon as a customer downloads your app with a personalised welcome message. The welcome message can be followed by a series of communication helping your customers set up their account and discover the various use cases on your app. What is also important is to have help available at hand whenever customers are stuck during their onboarding journey. This can be in the form of a help centre with detailed step-by-step FAQs, short how-to videos or a live chat.

Educate: I have been using an online grocery app for a really long time and I just discovered you can also use them to order a customized cake and get it delivered to any location in India. The app never sent me any communication nor did it make any effort to cross-sell this use case to me and I just discovered it serendipitously. Most customers only partially use any app they download as they are often unaware what all an app allows them to do besides the primary
reason they have downloaded it. A good CRM program needs to take care of this! From useful features customers can try to new launches on the app to what's trending in the month, there are various interesting ways in which you can educate customers on doing more on your app than just the primary use case.

Engage: The more you use an app the more targeted and relevant the communication it sends you should be. Does not always happen! One of my friends has shut off all notifications from an app she otherwise uses very frequently since they often choose to send her offers not even available in her city. What is even more disappointing is that she has been using this app for the last few years, so they have enough insights on her as a customer. Engagement is a very big part of any CRM program, and all businesses realise it. Where they falter is they end up sending
everything to everyone. Make the conversation with your customers interesting (for them), rather than bombarding them with a lot of irrelevant and poorly targeted information and offers.

Unblock: In most cases if you ask business and marketing teams what they are using CRM for, the answer will be pushing offers and promotional content to customers. However CRM can be a very powerful tool for unblocking customers. For example if a customer is trying to pay a bill and gets stuck for some reason, an instant inbox notification guiding him/her on what needs to be done next can completely change the way they interact with your app.