How to make your Kiwi customers love you this Valentine’s Day...

New Zealand businesses can stand out from the crowd on Valentine’s Day by delivering a highly-personalised experience to customers...

New Zealand businesses can stand out from the crowd on Valentine’s Day by delivering a highly-personalised experience to customers.

Valentine’s Day is only one of several retail peaks throughout the year.

If companies want to capture the lion's share of the market during these periods when customers are keen to buy, they must stand out.

So much so that customer relationship management is key to building a successful business - it helps drive sales, manage effective marketing and ensure customer satisfaction.

Strategic customer engagement and management can therefore be highly beneficial, but requires an ongoing commitment.

“Data is one of the best tools a business has to improve customer relationships," says Michael Morgan, General Manager, Business & Productivity Solutions, Empired.

"It can provide invaluable insight into both individual customer needs and the business as a whole.

"But it must be approached in a strategic way as part of a relationship management process.

"Happy customers equal repeat business and recommendations so it must be a priority for all organisations.”

Empired has identified five ways to ensure your customers love you this Valentine’s Day:

1. Manage and share your data effectively

"Data is a key tool to improve customer relationships, but it must be up to date and accessible," Morgan says.

"Customers are aware that businesses have a wealth of data available to them and, as a result, expect a certain level of knowledge during interactions.

"For example, they do not want to have to repeat details of previous conversations or issues."

Morgan believes it is vital that customer data is available at all customer touch points throughout the business, regardless of where it originated.

"This is achieved by implementing a centralised platform that can be updated in real-time and viewed by multiple people at the same time," he adds.

Read more: Mission critical ICT in the era of digital and diverse platforms

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