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Seven Ways to Reward Your Customers and Improve Your CRM: Page 2

By Jennifer Schiff     Feedback
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Reward customers for their time with points or discounts or cash back. American Express Israel, for example, worked with social CRM vendor FanGager to provide customers with reward points for things like opting in to their newsletter, taking surveys, registering for American Express's global shopping service, and other CRM-related activities.

"CRM has the potential to take fan engagement to a whole new level," noted Eran Gefen, founder and CEO of FanGager. "The long-term benefit of engagement activities such as surveys and other incentive driving contests with social CRM platforms ... is that brands gain a cohesive database of customers based on involvement and social media interactions. These conversations can help brands track behavior, sentiment and even reward those fans that are involved most with the brand, creating loyal brand ambassadors who will potentially share positive experiences with their own social media network."

Create a referral program. What's mightier than a CRM system? Word of mouth advertising. And a great way to spread the word about your business is to ask customers to refer you to their friends and family — and reward them for it.

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At Avidian Technologies, "customers who become referral partners can earn a referral bonus for referring prospects to us," said Warren Stokes, Avidian's vice president of sales. The program works by first using CRM "to capture and track customers as potential referral partners. Once they become customers we use [our] CRM's Workflow Automation to follow up with those customers after the sale. This rewards the customer by providing enhanced customer service and also by giving them the opportunity to earn referral fees by becoming a referral partner."

Similarly, PhotoArts Imaging Professionals created a Client Reward Card referral system to reward customers for their patronage. When a client picks up or is shipped their completed work, along with a letter of thanks for their business, they receive a couple of Client Reward cards, good for 120 days from the date on the card, that they can pass along with their name as the referrer. "Then when the referral job is completed and paid for, the referring client gets a credit for a percentage of the total job referral price (less taxes and shipping), which they can then use on any services they want performed during the year," said Du Boise.

Be a good listener. "Don't be afraid to get social with your customer service, and leverage the power of your CRM to do it," said Riggen-Ransom. "Customers are now communicating in a variety of places. Find out where your customers spend their time. Then use tools like Batchbook, HootSuite or Radian6 to monitor what people are saying about your company in social media spaces like Twitter, on blogs, on Facebook, Yelp or LinkedIn. Very quickly you'll realize what products, services or features your customers yearn for, and you'll be able to reward them with it."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a regular contributor to Enterprise Apps Today and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses.

This article was originally published on July 1, 2011
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