When I wrote about dumb companies and smart CRM last month, one surprising concern I heard is that the CRM would be interpreted as spam by customers. The value, however, of smart CRM is that customers consider it relevant and value it.
My definition of spam
What most people consider spam is communications (primarily email but it can be push notifications, SMS messages or even robo-calls) that has not meaning to the user and the user easily sees that. It is communications that is sent to thousands or millions of customers (or potential customers) with the hope that a fraction of a percent will respond to it.One element that does not define spam normally is frequency. I met only get one message from a company (say a Canadian pharmacy selling cholesterol medicine) but because the message is undifferentiated and clearly not written for me personally, I consider it spam.
Smart CRM is communication tailored to the individual. Again, the channel is not important, it can be email or texts or a phone call. What is important is the message is relevant. If it is a game player, maybe he just lost a round of a game and it tells him how to win next time or offers him a deal on a power-up that would help him win. If it is Uber, maybe it is a thank you for the five rides you took last week and a coupon for referring a friend. As I wrote in my post last month, customers now expect your communication to be relevant to them because they know the technology exists to do so. Moreover, they get smart communications from other companies and expect you to do the same.
So why isn’t it spam
You can send a customer or user multiple messages each day and as long as they are unique and relevant the user will not consider it spam. Amazon presents a great example. I have three or four emails waiting from Amazon every morning. Normally, I delete about 80 percent of the messages in my inbox when I wake up without reading them. Those are the ones that can be classified as spam. I always read the Amazon messages. The reason I read them is they are always relevant. One shows me sales I am interested in, one is usually specials for my Kindle (and books that are interesting to me), one is about electronics they feel I am interested in. If one of the messages was about their new Vegan snacks, one was about new dresses they were selling and one was about romance novels, I would quickly start deleting them and consider them spam. It is the relevancy of the content, not the frequency, that defines whether it is spam.
Do not get hung up on the frequency of your communication but focus on the relevancy. If can create communications that are important to your customers, they will welcome multiple contacts. With multiple contacts, you will increase your chances to sell to your customers and improve their bond with your company, and thus retention.
- A common misperception is that there is a point where communications with customers become spam. It is the relevance, not the frequency, however, of communications that defines whether it is spam.
- Relevant communications that are important to the person receiving it will never be considered spam, even if you are sending them multiple messages daily.
- A successful CRM program maximizes relevant communications, allowing you to build a bond with your customer and create many selling opportunities.