The Acadiana region has recently come through a rough patch, but cautious optimism is in the air. During the recent economic downturn some business concentrated on damage control. Some found new markets and new products to stimulate growth. Some even closed down and started up again. More than ever, now is the time to take a fresh look at how you find and respond to your customers. Now is the time to focus on growth.

Technology and Your Business

Smart companies use technology to get more business and keep more business—to get more revenue and keep more on the bottom line. It doesn’t matter if your business has three people, 30 people, 300 people or 3,000 people–your customers and prospective customers, whether they are consumers or businesses, expect technological innovation. Customers expect constant connectivity with you. They want you to know them and be able to predict what they might want. And, of course, the ubiquitous question: “Can I do this on my cellphone?”

What’s Marketing Got to Do With It?

For many companies, connecting the dots between marketing and business development (aka sales) is a key for growth.

Amazon, for example, mines details about our buying habits–what we’ve browsed; what we’ve put into our wish lists; our past purchases–making it easy for them to suggest additional items for purchase. Essentially, they can predict behavior, and with Amazon Prime, it’s even easier for buyers to purchase with one click.

Consumers have come to expect that from Amazon and the other big cloud-based companies. While this kind of capability used to be the purview of only the largest and wealthiest companies, recent changes in the IT industry are providing affordable options to businesses of all sizes.

Personalization is Key

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling books, widgets or services, customers and potential customers expect a personalized touch. Here are three ways automation of marketing and business development processes can make a difference.

  1. Enables “Customer-First” Connectivity

In today’s connected world, customers expect more from their business partners.

There has been a seismic shift in customer expectations–while the quality of products and services is still important, a vast majority of customers now rate customer service and ease-of-use as their top priority.

In a Salesforce study, the following facts were discovered about the modern customer:

  • 74 percent of all business customers would switch brands if presented with an unintuitive purchasing process.
  • 52 percent of all customers would switch brands if there was no attempt to personalize their communications.
  • 50 percent of all customers are willing to switch brands if their business partners don’t anticipate their needs proactively.

Customers expect flexibility and personalized contact on an intuitive platform. After all, they get these things in their daily life – why shouldn’t they expect them from their business partners?

  1. Provides Mobile Support For Constant Contact

Customers expect full mobile support throughout their journey. It’s estimated that more than half of all online traffic now comes exclusively from mobile devices – and as time goes on, this number will continue to grow.

If companies aren’t offering comprehensive mobile support, they will suffer as a result – 80 percent of all business buyers expect real-time interactions with their business partners, according to the study.

When a customer wants to get in touch with you, they expect to be able to do so easily – no matter whether they’re on a laptop, desktop, tablet or their smartphone.

Providing a seamless mobile experience through the Salesforce platform allows customers to maintain real-time communication and ensures that they’ll always be able to get in touch with their sales representatives when they need to–no matter where they are.

  1. Increases Customer Loyalty with Personalized, Proactive Contact Touch Points

Using a CRM like Salesforce allows you to gain valuable insight into your customers’ habits – smart usage of these tools can allow your team to anticipate the needs of your customers. With these powerful analytics and data sets in hand, businesses can use personalized, proactive touch points to increase customer loyalty.

Personalized, timely reminders and emails serve as invaluable touchpoints to increase the efficacy of customer communication. When customers feel as if their needs are being met – before they even have them – they’re far more likely to be loyal and are more likely to increase business through referrals and repeat orders.

You can be the master of your own business’ future. Get smart. Get connected. Get the right technology.