Attracting new customers is an ongoing goal of every business. But just as important – and perhaps even more so – is retaining existing customers. The conventional wisdom that the cost of customer acquisition is higher than the cost of customer retention still holds true. In addition, today’s business environment is more competitive than ever as consumers’ buying habits are experiencing a monumental shift. The situation is little different in the business-to-business (B2B) world. No business can afford to take any customer for granted, no matter how long they’ve been a customer.
It is for this reason that businesses, both large and small, need to prioritize customer retention.
To promote customer loyalty, you need to look after your customers well. It is crucial to respond to their needs proactively and establish a strong relationship with them so that they continue to remain your customers despite marketing by your competitors and/or other changes in the marketplace.
However, maintaining a strong relationship with your customers is a demanding process even under the best conditions. What you need is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
There’s no question that happy customers are best for businesses
To retain your customers and improve customer loyalty, you need to make sure that you do everything you can to prevent their departure. When you pay attention to the needs of your customers, you can see early signs of dissatisfaction. You need to keep a watch on such key variables as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls. Closely monitoring these signals will allow you to take corrective measures before it is too late.
As our blog post – “Worried About Customer Churn? Here is How CRM Helps Reduce It!” – notes, “If you want to retain customers, you need to find ways to keep them happy. Implementing a CRM system is an excellent step that allows you to craft strategies to anticipate customer needs, head off possible issues and ensure they continue to feel valued.”
How a CRM solution can help
So, how can a CRM solution help your business?
According to Tomas Blomqvist, Certified Sage CRM Technical Consultant at BAASS, there are three ways that CRM software can help customer retention, which we share verbatim:
- Keeping your best customers happy. Clearly the best way to ensure customer retention is to prevent customers from leaving. Paying close attention to your customers will allow you to see the signs of an impending customer departure. This can be done through identifying key variables such as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls. If you are able to see the signals you can then take action to stop your customers before they leave. One way to do this is by running a report of sales for the last six months. Any customers that have not made any purchases may need to be followed up with.
- Implementing targeted marketing. The better you know your customers the more specifically you can target your marketing to their needs. CRM software can give you valuable insight into purchase history so that you can target your offers and make them most appealing and relevant to your customer.
- Offering incentives to your most profitable clients. Use your customer database to see which customers are responsible for the most revenue. Use this information to offer incentives or perks to your most profitable customers. This way you are budgeting your time and resources where they have the biggest potential for return.
Treat customers the right way
Today’s consumers are well-informed and demanding. They are constantly bombarded by your competitors’ advertising and marketing, and will quickly leave if you stop looking after them well. Therefore, it is crucial to treat your customers the right way.
You need to listen to your customers and offer them constructive solutions. According to Daniel Bishop, junior editor at Really Simple Systems, “The foundation of any relationship is listening and answering with constructive ideas and human compassion. To form a healthy relationship with your customers, you need to be able to see them as something more than just a source of profit. They are not just letters and numbers with checkmarks on your screen – they are people, and today, people demand exquisite service. “
When you have a CRM system, you get all the data you need to personalize your efforts through emails, campaigns and calls-to-action (CTAs). Engaged customers tend to buy more from you, and can even spend extra money. When your customers develop an emotional connection with your brand, they are likely to stay with you over the long term. This is how a CRM solution helps increase customer loyalty.
With a CRM system, you can access data that offers valuable customer insights. You can get to know who your most profitable, high-value customers are, and create loyalty programs to keep them happy. You can also learn the impact your marketing campaign is having, as well as follow the customer journey – which helps you understand how your customers interacted with your business, their engagement activities and how they engage with you after their purchase. With this data, you can modify your campaigns to make them more effective.
Additionally, CRM data allows you to up-sell and cross-sell more effectively – as well as deal with customer complaints more successfully.
If you offer the right solutions and incentives to your customers, they are less likely to take their business elsewhere. There are many strategies that you can adapt to cultivate long-term customer relationships. With the right CRM solution, you learn which strategies and tactics will work for each particular customer.
If you’re considering a CRM solution for your business, we invite you to learn what eZnet CRM has to offer. Our industry-leading system allows easy, seamless management of every aspect of the customer experience. We’re here to make sure you don’t fall behind in this increasingly competitive business environment.