Say it With Me: Res-O-Nate

Everyone wants repeat purchasers. They are less expensive on a cost- per-sale basis, and it makes the job of learning customer’s wants and needs much easier. Other than speaking to people on their terms, what else can a small business with a smaller budget, and man-hours in the day, do to accomplish this? My solution is to resonate on a deeper level. Often people buy from small businesses because of the personal touches. Using a quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is often the best way to accomplish this end. You can fill it with all kinds of facts, like birthdays, anniversaries, date of first purchase, favorite likes/dislikes and whatever else you think is pertinent.

Unfortunately, too many small businesses don’t see this as an investment. While there is some expense, when used properly, a good CRM can mean exponential lifetime value from your most loyal customers. More importantly than that, your business can fulfill your customer’s need better. As my friend from Portage Media recently told me,” if we’re not in business to fulfill a need then we’re in it for the wrong thing.”

To that necessity, I am making a list that should help you wade through the near endless offerings.

  1. Salesforce is a great tool for small-to-medium sized businesses. You can manage relationships, create sales reports, handle billing and customize the offering for your specific needs. There is also a free version.
  2. Salesboom touts to have a better offering than Salesforce, and you can see their comparison if you follow the hyperlink in this post.
  3. Oracle might be the most robust of all of them and should only be considered by the most serious CRM users because of the expense.
  4. Avidian is a great tool for smaller businesses. They get it, and a business can buy the tool more a la carte than the larger offerings.
  5. Zoho is a great tool, especially for cost-saving measures. You can get three free users with your subscription and the fourth is only $12/month! Plus, it is quality and able to handle multiple needs and applications. Plus, it integrates with Adwords and other paid SEM solutions.
  6. Civic is perfect for non-profits, with a tech-savvy developer on staff. Integrating the php into your  servers can be difficult but offers great customization.

Those six are the only ones I’m willing to endorse, at this time, but check back as I’m sure to add to the list as I learn more about other offerings. These tools might be one of your smartest investments in time and/or money to turn your hand-raisers into lifelong customers. Resonance is the place that every brand should achieve to get to, with as many customers as possible. I’m sure up-sells and repeat purchase are in your future. Come on, you know you want to say it with me. Let’s try this one more time, “Res-O-Nate.”

Does anyone else have a tool they like to use that I didn’t mention? Let me know, I would love to hear about it!

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About Therran Oliphant

Therran Oliphant is a strong advocate for developing the academic and practical field of Integrated Marketing Communications. Holding an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) from Eastern Michigan University, Therran has been a staunch advocate for developing the theoretical, practical and applicable concepts of the field, especially as it comes to digital advertising and media. His main passion is helping marketers more accurately interface with the technology community and ask the right questions to help them accomplish the objectives their brand customers have set. A career in data and advertising technology has allowed him to have a unique perspective on the science of utilizing the right methodologies to systematically ask the right questions that lead to delivering the outcomes necessary for success.