In the past decade or so, industries are starting to realize that they are no longer situated at the center of the economy, but rather need to revolve and work around their customers to ensure that they remain loyal to them and keep on providing more business.
With rapid advancements in technological networks taking place in the same period, customers are no longer limited to simply trusting salespersons on their word for providing good quality and value in their products or services. They can instantly connect with their peers who have previously dealt with the business and have shared their personal experiences.
To overcome this power shift in the market, businesses have started re-aligning their sales and marketing efforts to keep their existing customers loyal to them, instead of constantly trying to bring in more and more customers. A research conducted by Ipsos, a market research company, has concluded that retaining a customer is almost 5 times cheaper than trying to obtain a new one.
This is why a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software service is quickly gaining popularity in most business circles. Although it started out as a tool for managing the sales cycle, CRM software has evolved by leaps and bounds, with most businesses adopting it to effectively manage their customer relationships.
Connect with your existing customers
Although it is important to apportion some of your resources for gaining new customers, focusing on your long-term customers is even more beneficial for the business. Don’t limit your relationship once the sale is made and a lead is converted into a customer. Keep reaching out to them long after the purchase, provide them with value and give them a sense of trust in your business. In short, be proactive in your approach for customer service rather than simply reacting to their queries, concerns or feedback.
A CRM software service is a perfect fit for this purpose, as with its powerful automation features, you can organize each customer’s personal information into a centralized database and schedule the appropriate communication tasks based on their profiles. Inform them about any upcoming events, sales, offers and exclusives that are relevant to their age group, or geographic location, or may even be based on their purchase history.
Custom fit your business for your customers
Businesses gain information about their customers through various marketing channels, such as email, websites, social media platforms, etc. However, this kind of information is never static, since many customers may change their lifestyle, opinions, or purchasing patterns.
Proactively updating your database lets you avoid scenarios where your messages and offers become irrelevant to the customer, since they were more suited to their old self. These scenarios can reduce the customer’s trust in your business, since they may feel like you don’t care enough about them or understand them.
Include your customers in the decision-making cycle
Creating a product or service mix without realizing your customers’ requirements and needs is one of the biggest blunders that a business can make. At the end of the day, if you can’t provide value to your customers, then they will not hesitate to switch over to your competitors. This is why it is important to first gauge your market by asking your potential customers a lot of questions about their needs and expectations.
Your initial product or service might not be perfectly compatible with the customer, and this gap can be filled by intelligently analyzing the obtained feedback and suggestions, and incorporating it in your product. By showing your customers that you value their opinions sets the right tone in their mind about your business, and makes it more likely for them to do more business with you.
Appreciate your loyal customers
If a customer feels like they’re merely being pushed into business without being provided with value, they will break ties with you and take their business to a competitor. Loyalty is an important concept, and is especially applicable for an environment that is marked by intense competition and unpredictable customers.
Show gratitude to your customers for choosing you and your business over your competitors. Structure loyalty programs to reward long-time customers and let them know that they’re an important part of the business. Offering them freebies, deep discounts, and exclusive offers can go a long way in forging loyal relationships.