Minimal interest and low expectations
- How then to build strong customer relationships?
Sales and marketing are often associated with specific functions and employees that will more or less aggressively try to highlight the excellence of the products, services and suppliers.
Too me, it seems that the interest for occupational pensions among the final beneficiaries is next to nothing. At the same time, the skepticism is rife towards the entire financial sector regarding both customer benefits and transparency. To go about making boisterous statements or promises would not increase interest or benefit the credibility.
To build long lasting customer relationships we need to focus wholeheartedly on performance. Live up to our promises and, if possible to excel the customers’ expectations. I our case this is a matter of making the everyday life of the HR manager a little simpler, and the long-term revenue of the employee a little more secure and – hopefully – a little higher.
The everyday of the HR manager is made simpler by making routines clearer and simpler and information more honest and lucid. It may sound a little woody, but I would like to suggest that our single most prominent marketing tool is the shaping and content of the annual statement, and personal meetings in which our main task is to listen. Really listen.
To me, sales and marketing is therefore something that all co-workers, directly or indirectly are involved in every day. Those in charge of the direct contact with potential or existing customers obviously need to focus on factual information and guidance.
When it comes to marketing we are laying low as far as traditional media goes, but we are, however actively working with editorial content – especially through ABM. It has been shown to be cost-effective as well as being a means to reach a clearly defined target group, which resonates with our basic philosophy.
Naturally, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that most people today receive a large portion of their impressions and impulses through social media. But it is not completely obvious how this ongoing, often rather shallow dialogue can be joined together with our view on customer communications. If nothing else, it is a way noticing questions and thoughts that may influence the way in which people look and act upon issues that concern their lives’ most important investments.
The goal of our marketing is not, however just finding new customers, but to attend to those customers we already have. Develop the relationship. Adjust our offer to the ever changing surrounding world and one’s own changeable premises.
I know that the world in which I’m living is a little different, but… Could it possibly be so that this strategy, this way of thinking, could also contribute to stronger customer relationships in other businesses?
Helena Palmgren is the CEO of Brummer Life, a wholly owned subsidiary to Brummer och Partners. The company carries out insurance business focusing on occupational pension and savings products.