A new blog on how the right CRM customer experience can retain customers, not just attract them.
Three out of four customers spend more money. Typical revenue per sales executive increases by over 40%. Sales bounce by 27% when communication with customers crosses channels.
It’s true: ensuring a positive CRM customer experience boosts sales. But the boost doesn’t come from a first sale. It stems from all those communications and sales made after the first.
It’s the process of turning an initial order into a sustained customer relationship and improving their lifetime value. The lifetime value of your customers is extremely important. By focusing on the long-term health of your relationship with them, you can make accurate predictions about the net profit each customer can deliver to your business.
Check your most profitable accounts: you’ll find they’re all with customers you know well. In a nutshell, that’s what CRM is for. Not just for “making a sale”, but delivering that CRM customer experience. Because if you build the relationship, the sales come anyway.
So while new accounts opened or new customers won will always get the headline cheers from the Sales Director, here are five ideas for driving retention in 2016 – starting with that great underused resource, your existing customer database.
1. Look for customers about to churn
Churn exerts massive pressure on your bottom line but many cases of customer defection are avoidable – if you act ahead of time. 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper to execute than acquisition.
So act now. Search your database for customers who used to order monthly, then suddenly stopped two months ago. Or whose order volume has gone down, or whose Senior Buyer has switched jobs. Today’s CRM software makes it easy to generate reports that deliver the right information. Your CRM partner can also help you to mine data, understand it and put it to good use. You might catch a customer just in time.
2. Open the door to salesmen: align Sales and Marketing
A great CRM customer experience is consistent. If Marketing is having deep brand messaging conversations with customers while Sales is hitting them with BOGOFs every two days, that’s jarring. To talk smarter to customers, talk across departmental silos.
Agree which people can use which segments of the customer database, and work out best practice for avoiding customer confusion. Marketing’s gentle nudges can maintain goodwill and glean valuable information, making for an easier sale at next year’s product launch. In the meantime, Sales can feedback on offers and take-up rates, helping Marketing understand motivations better. Make your CRM customer experience a virtuous circle.
3. Be the bearer of gifts: reward profitable customers
It’s hard to win a customer, even harder to make them profitable. So use your CRM to keep track of your most loyal customers and shower them with largesse.
Well, not to the exclusion of all the others, obviously. But the right rewards – extra attention, underused discounts, personalised incentives – can retain these top earners on your roster. (The downside of having a profitable customer is that they’re constantly being approached by your competitors.) Treat your best customers like your best friends.
4. Reignite relationships with unprofitable ones
And don’t stop there. Today’s CRM reports can bring searing insights from simple data, such as which of your customers are losing you money.
If one customer is responsible for 80% of your profits, that may be acceptable, but if it’s 100%, you’re at real risk. And if it goes over 100% – in other words, one customer is subsidising all the loss-making others – you’re on the fast track to failure. Use CRM to look for the story behind the numbers.
5. Lastly, keep personal relationships personal!
A great CRM customer experience is between two human beings, not a buyer and seller. So keep the channels open, and never forget there’s a human being at the end of your email campaign.
That means understanding how real people want to communicate. They’re talking to you across social media, about you on forums. They’re reading reviews written about you and are searching for information about your competitors. So make sure your social channels are part of your CRM system. It’s not a piece of software, but an infrastructure for listening and communicating across channels, 24/7. And when they can talk to you, they’ll stay with you.
- A great CRM customer experience means consistent communication, not constant!
- When Sales and Marketing agree on terms of engagement, the result is a better CRM customer experience.
- Customer acquisition gets the plaudits, but customer retention wins the profits.