Work-life balance as a Sales Marketing Management is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).
Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Sales Marketing Management from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
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The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.
When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.
Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.
During the marketing classes we all have heard about the four 'P's (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) which is also known as the marketing mix. It has always been the best parameters to control the internal as well as external constraints of the marketing environment.
In today's hypercompetitive world, the four P's are no longer an effective model to penetrate and exist in a market. Through the power of mass media, channels and technology, the control has slowly shifted from marketers to consumers. This is where 'customer-centric marketing' comes into existence which is now considered as the new model for marketing effectiveness.
According to Chaffery1, "Customer-centric marketing is an approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behavior within the target audience and then seeks to fulfill the individual needs and wants of customers." It centers on the needs and wants of the customer, and not about what the marketer or seller wants a customer to buy. Thus by understanding the needs, wants and problems of the customer, businesses could gain direct insight into them and build a mutually beneficial relationship and rapport. Understanding how a customer or prospect is engaged with the brand and then tailoring resources, products, services, and communications to reflect their engagement level demonstrates a customer-centric business approach.
• Customer-centric approach is more like creating relationship sales by understanding your consumers as opposed to product or promotional approach.
• It focuses more on the satisfaction and mutual relationship with the consumer
• Communication becomes an important factor to get regular feedback from consumer
• Will be investing on potential consumers thus avoiding vain investments on low potential customers
• Sales will be generated as a result of a solid relationship, listening and problem solving
• Consumer information will be integrated across marketing, sales, and service departments
• Integrated mass and direct communications with the customers will be made regularly
To help frame a customer-centric strategy, Forrester has identified five key dimensions which marketers must focus on:
1) Establish a customer-centric marketing culture;
2) Rethink business processes;
3) Create a centralized view of the customer;
4) Use analytics to drive customer communication; and
5) Invest in a consistent measurement framework.
Why companies should change to customer-centric approach?
There are many benefits by switching to a customer-centric marketing approach and adjusting marketing practices to deliver relevant messages through multiple channels.
• The first reason would be 'an improvement in selling and experience' as there are no sales tosses
• Least expensive marketing program and improved referrals
• Marketing investment will be better aligned with customer profit potential
• Increase in profits through customer loyalty. Customers will buy over a long period of time
• Lasting business relationship
• Raises awareness and optimizes appeal
A comprehensive view of the customer helps marketers to deliver productive customer experiences, support marketing measurements, and drive new business opportunities. The first step towards greater profits is to recognize that company profitability is driven by customer-level profitability. Long term investments in the right customer base will definitely help businesses to position themselves to prosper and succeed.
 Chaffery, Dave. 2008, Customer centric marketing definition, from; http://www.davechaffey.com/E-marketing-Glossary/Customer-centric-marketing.htm
 Source: Defining an Enterprise wide Customer Contact Strategy, Forrester, Research, Inc., October 22, 2008.
There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.
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Empowering employees like Sales Marketing Management to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
How should the practice of business continuity evolve to manage the threats and opportunities faced by organizations today and in the future?
Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding people. The CulturalManagement provides experts to partner with your organization and develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster management program.
The absolute most important aspect of customer retention is culture. Culture is the way things are thought about, talked about, and done. If TRUST is the basis for any long-term relationship, then a culture of trust is essential to customer retention. Two great examples are Kimpton - a boutique hotel chain, and Cisco Systems.
Kimpton has been named the number one place to work in 9 of the 17 cities where it operates. Market Metrix Hospitality Index or MMHI, has awarded top scores to Kimpton over the past few years - their scored have exceeded not only their direct competitors - but also brands such as Ritz Carlton, St Regis, and Four Seasons. Kimpton has achieved this because of their strong customer-centric culture of really knowing their customers, anticipating customers' needs with great precision, and empowering employees to meet customer expectations.
Another good example of customer-centric culture is Cisco Systems. They are proactive about solutions for every stage of the customer's lifecycle, and on their basic product web pages you can readily find contact information for customer service and tech support ... whereas many companies require customers to go through many clicks to get their contact information. Cisco has made a concerted effort to maximize their customer self-service features, so that their agents can focus on more high-value assistance, from the customers' perspective.
Walking the Talk
How many companies walk the talk by assigning an executive sponsor to customer retention? At Symantec, the Vice President of Customer Experience posts the results of their latest feedback from customers, as well as what they're doing to address that feedback. This can be one of the most powerful ways to keep your customers talking to you. Show that you really read and digest their feedback, and show that you have followed their advice in making improvements.
By closing the loop with customers, you can re-set their perceptions, so they don't feel compelled to carry around negative baggage of past experiences. They can re-set their perceptions to better meet your current realities of improved policies, business processes, and customer experiences.
Symantec takes this a step further with a feedback form on their website - enabling anyone anytime to either vent their frustrations or express appreciation for a job well done.
Two-way conversation on Twitter is best illustrated by Comcast - Frank Eliason's is director of digital care at Comcast and his profile includes his personal website and blog - as he sees customer frustrations expressed, he reaches out to them to find solutions, and in the process, many disillusioned customers have migrated to fans not only of Comcast, but to a friendship with Frank.
Going Beyond the Surface
Over-focus on customer acquisition teaches customers to switch brands. For example, the brand switching rate, called customer churn, is 40% for the mobile phone industry, compared to a 7% customer churn rate for the insurance and financial services industries. Some good advice is to quit training your customers to switch - get off the churn bandwagon.
Let's take a look at a mobile phone company that has pursued a customer retention strategy whereas its peers in the industry were focused primarily on customer acquisition. The mobile phone company Orange is owned by France Telecom, and it's a great example of departing from industry norms with a unique experiment on customer service as a brand differentiator - somewhat similar to the Saturn brand of General Motors.
Orange has pursued a strategy of customer-centricity by investing heavily in their agents' knowledge, customer communication and responsiveness. Customer service agents take a 1-month course before interacting with customers, and for their first several weeks interfacing with customers, the work environment has a high ratio of supervisors.
This is accompanied by ongoing formal quality assurance with an emphasis on precision monitoring through speech analytics. The speech analytics tool has enabled Orange to identify at-risk customers, and these customers are reached out to within 24 hours, to turn around their sentiment about the brand, and migrate them from at-risk status toward satisfied status.
80% of the customers identified as at-risk through the speech analytics were not picked up as at-risk through the agents nor other methods. The results are 20% improvement in 1st call resolution, 15% reduction in repeat calls, and 20% increase in satisfaction with customer service.
Trust is the Foundation
The lesson here is that customer retention may be best supported by operational integrity. After all, when you think about your personal relationships as well as your business relationships, you tend to stick with the folks that are really good at showing they sincerely care about you, and doing what they say they're going to do.
It boils down to trust. When you dig down to the reasons why people leave a brand for a competitor's solution, it's not so much about the competitors' offers and brand affinity -- but, rather, the reasons people switch brands is much more about product, service and value disappointments. Companies make huge investments in communicating their value proposition. Logic says a corresponding investment - at least in energy and scrutiny - should be made in making sure their value proposition is lived up to. TRUST is the best way to retain customers.
When a Sales Marketing Management spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.