Imagine that you are the head of a business or its sales and marketing arm. Wouldn’t the prospect of achieving better conversion rates, at lower costs while simultaneously increasing the profits, seem tantalising? Properly used, that is exactly what a good CRM is capable of.
Getting new customers and retaining them is the mantra of e-commerce establishments. The people in the business are always researching and thinking about new ways to increase revenue. But, often, an excessive focus on acquiring newer sources of revenue results in the failure to effectively address the need for improving customer relationships and experience, which is the key to build long-term loyalty.
Customer retention is a long-term strategy requiring a hands-on approach and a keen sense of the emotions and perceptions of existing customers. In other words, customer loyalty has to be earned, continuously. An existing customer who is satisfied has a better experience and developed trust, making it easier for firms to identify their needs, easier to convince and engage through upselling and cross-selling. A variation of Pareto’s principle also holds true in this case; statistics show that 80% of a firm’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers.
Before we elaborate on the ways CRM can help, let us go through a couple of real-life examples illustrating the same. Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. (MMNA) is the exclusive US distributor for Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, offering Americans a full line of passenger cars and sports-utility vehicles. Previously, MMNA faced problems regarding customer relationship as they tracked only individual transactions and not customers. Therefore, they had difficulty in retaining customers over a lifetime, as information was stored in separate air-tight silos. For example, if the same customer bought two cars from them, they couldn’t track that. After they opted for a CRM solution, based in their findings, they opted for a software application called Siebel Call Centre, to coordinate all touchpoints.
Here are some tips on improving customer satisfaction and loyalty using CRM:
Keep your customers from leaving
This is the most obvious way to ensure customer retention. By identifying key variables such as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls, CRM can help you capture the signals of impending customer departures, so that you can put in place specific measures to improve the situation. CRM helps you create a list of your valued customers and a list of all the purchases made by them in the previous six months. By comparing the two, you can get a list of those valued customers who haven’t made a recent purchase, allowing you to follow-up with those customers.
Incorporate social component and loyalty programs
Firms must provide incentives to customers to spend time in their site, and, more importantly, return. Traditional loyalty programs like offering loyalty points etc. may have their benefits, but a better way is to create a branded app that provides a unique customer experience. One of the many features of CRM software is to identify high-performing clients, study their purchase behaviour and use the information to pursue similar clientele by following similar techniques. It is highly important that long-term customers are rewarded for their support because according to a market research analysis report, the cost of retaining high-performing customers is considerably lower than that of pursuing newer ones.
Offer a personalized experience
It is but natural that customers want to feel important and cared for by the organization. CRM software can help leverage the data companies get from their customers’ online behaviour and communicate in a specific manner. For example, advertising products and services that interested the clients in the past, sending personalized emails based on relevant customer preferences and automatically reminding a customer rep to follow-up with a dormant customer. This simulated individualization helps create a closer bond between a company and its existing and potential customers.
Become better: Customer-oriented approach
Your efforts must be customer-oriented Marketing strategies must be based on customer experience rather than on product features. Enhancing social experience is a proven way to build a sense of loyalty and belonging, along with attracting new customers.
Surveys are an integral part of CRM strategy. Asking customers directly what they want and how you can help and improve can give them the impression that their opinions matter to you. Most importantly, it is important to act on the feedback received from the customer surveys. This is a sure-fire way to enhance customer loyalty.
In every company’s lifecycle, there will inevitably arrive a phase when the sales and profits start to plateau and become stagnant. A CRM solution can profile customer records based on profit accountability, track demographics on a single interface and devise strategies to tackle any impending shortfalls.
Content is King
This is not just a feel-good platitude. The more helpful and engaging the content on a site is, greater are the chances of customers returning to that site. The bounce rate can be kept under control by including all the relevant information you possibly can, like well-edited professional videos, downloadable manuals etc. in order to build trust.
With the help of CRM, today’s sales agents can price a desired product or service within minutes using customizable templates, rather than wait for a Request For Quote (RFQ) to be prepared. CRM helps put the customer first by ensuring that through the sales referral tracking, all the leads are captured, routed to the right representative and a quick response is elicited.
These are some of the key ways in which a proper CRM solution can help boost customer relationship, satisfaction and ultimately, loyalty. CRM helps foster quality relationships by increased personalization, convenience and attentiveness.