It can be easy for a business to get caught up in attracting new customers and focus time, attention and budget into building its customer base. Although this is an essential part of growing your business, it’s crucial that you don’t forget your most important customers – the ones you already have!
According to research by Forrester, acquiring new customers can cost 5 times more than satisfying and retaining existing customers. Customer retention activities could, therefore, provide a low-cost but effective way to grow long-term profits and a substantial customer base.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a great option to help you organise and optimise your customer relations. A CRM system will help you to streamline your customer management processes by bringing all customer data and activity on to one platform. This will enable you to gain a better understanding of each customer’s relationship and journey with the business, their preferences and how to best communicate with them.
These 5 key pointers will help you make the most of a CRM system to engage and retain a loyal customer base:
Focus on delivering excellent customer service
If you’re spending time and money on attracting new customers, why would your attention on these individuals divert as soon as they have converted?
A CRM system will give team members greater awareness of each customer’s relationship and activity to-date with the business. This will enable employees to deliver tailored communications and ensure customers feel valued. This personalised service can help turn customers into brand advocates. This is the ‘customer jackpot’ as dedicated customers will not only continue to use your business but could act as a valuable recommendation source.
One way of delivering great customer service is through frequent (but not pushy!) communications. Build up a calendar of activity, such as a weekly newsletters, monthly offers or quarterly updates that will enable you to keep in touch with your customers. By using the customer database in a CRM system you can send relevant, interesting content to your customers to ensure they’re thinking about the business. Don’t forget to encourage your customers to engage with you on your various platforms, whether that’s your website, email, telephone or social media. Let your customers know that you welcome two-way communications and value their interaction with your business.
Sell then sell again
Once a customer has completed a transaction, it’s not the end of their journey with you! Strike while the iron is hot and keep them engaged with a simple, automated email. This timely email should, at least, thank them for using the business. You could even offer a discount to encourage the customer to use the business again. Simple gestures make people feel good and this will encourage them to think positively about your brand.
Develop a rewards system
Encourage your customers to repeat purchase from your business by offering a rewards card or loyalty programme. A rewards system could help customers prioritise you over a competitor if they could gain something in return for their loyalty. However, it is important to ensure these offers and rewards are targeted to individuals as generic offers may suggest you don’t really know your customers. A CRM system will help you to determine and deliver the relevant rewards by using information regarding the types of products or services they have been using and purchasing.
Listen to your customers
Listening to customers will enable you to shape your communications and marketing strategy most effectively. This will ensure you can proactively attract new customers, develop lasting relationships with existing customers and ultimately grow your business. Listening and responding to customer feedback will let your customers know that you care about their thoughts, needs and interests. You could encourage customers to leave reviews or share their experiences via social media. A CRM system can assist communications with customers, especially in response to negative feedback, as team members will be able to review any previous conversations that have taken place and the customer’s history with the business. This awareness will help to make the communications tailored and effective, rather than repetitive and frustrating.