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Analysis

The One Acronym That Will Help Retain Your Customers

You’re constantly learning new sites, apps and platforms that are supposed to help you with your customer retention efforts. wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tool you were already using that could help?

Lauren Dowdle
October 13 2017

While finding new ways to make your job easier is great, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a tool you were already using that could take it to the next level? That’s where your customer relationship management (CRM) comes in.

You can keep notes on customers, send surveys, manage sales activity, monitor leads, create customer personas, send marketing emails and a myriad of other activities using your CRM. Just when you think you’ve learned it all, there’s an update with dozens of new features that make your job easier and harder all at the same time.

All CRM platforms focus on relationships: I mean, relationships are literally at the center of CRMs.

People want to do business with companies that make them feel special, valued and like more than just a dollar sign. But to do that, you need to first have a good idea of who your customers are, what they want and how you can improve their experience with your brand. CRMs can help you with all of that, so it’s time to put this tool to the test.

Looking for ways to retain customers and make the most of your CRM? Try implementing these tactics into your retention strategy.

Wow Customers with Personalization

We all want to feel special, and it’s your job as a marketer to ensure your customers feel looked after. One of the best ways to achieve this is through targeted content and offers, and your CRM can help with that.

You can create a customer list based off of their purchase history, such as lumping everyone who has shown interested in a certain product or service together. Then, you can reach out to them with related blogs, whitepapers or updates to show you know (and care about) what they like. Plus, that helps keep them engaged so they continue to make purchases.

Showing customers you care also helps build loyalty, which should be another integral part of your retention efforts. It’s all about making them feel like they are interacting with a friendly person instead of a faceless brand.

Shine a Spot on Your VIPs

We all know the 80/20 rule where 20 percent of your clients represent 80 percent of your sales: So why not make that top group feel extra special?

Create a list of these VIPs using metrics like purchase history (ex. frequency, amounts, etc.) to show them you appreciate their business. Once you identify your top performers using your CRM’s tools, take steps to make sure they stay that way.

Roll out the red carpet, pop the champagne and polish the good silverware. Go above and beyond to recognize and give them something of value. You can offer them exclusive deals and offers, including discounts and rewards through a loyalty program. Do whatever you can to show them how much they mean to you and the company. People like that sort of thing.

Watch for the Warning Signs

Don’t you wish your customers would give you the heads up before they decide to say goodbye to your company? You and every other marketer.

Being able to spot a customer who’s on their way out is a huge part of improving retention rates, and it doesn’t have to be some far-off goal. Your CRM can help you spot the symptoms and re-engage them before they leave for good.

You just need to know which metrics to monitor. The specific actions you’re tracking can depend on your customer base and company, but here are some of the top ones:

  • Purchase history: Has their purchase pattern changed for the worse, or have they stopped buying from you altogether?
  • Email interactions: Have they gone months without opening or engaging with your targeted emails and newsletters, when they used to top your click-through rate list?
  • Complaints: Have they expressed they’re unhappy through emails, calls, surveys or through your customer portal?

Any change in these key areas can mean trouble for your retention rates if you don’t act quick. Use your CRM to reach out to these delinquent customers by identifying them.

For example, if the majority of your customers renew their services every three months, you could use your CRM to set up a list of ones who haven’t renewed after six months. You can then send them targeted messages and even incentives to come back.

Or, pull in the list of customers who haven’t interacted with your email communications during a set time period and see if you can catch their attention. Emails with subjects along the lines of “We Want You Back” or “Here’s a Discount to Get You Back” are ways you can stand out with your messaging.

The more you narrow down your customer lists in your CRM, the better. Of course, you don’t want thousands of separate lists, but you want them to be defined enough that you can target the customers with personalized approaches. You wouldn’t try to re-engage a customer who hasn’t purchased in a while the same way you would with one who sent you a complaint.

Keep Track of Your Schedule

Do you ever daydream about having a personal assistant who keeps you on track and on top of your appointments? Come on, I know it’s not just me. It might not bring you your pumpkin spice latte, but CRMs are a great tool for scheduling customer interactions.

Besides leaving notes on your customers, you can also set reminders to reach out or follow-up with a customer through the CRM. You could use that time to answer any of their questions, build a relationship and (hopefully) encourage future sales.

If you realize you’re not the best person to chat with the customer, you can also reassign the task to another one of your team members.

Put Your CRM to Work

With the right CRM, the sky really is the limit. You just need to know how to take advantage of its tools.

Lists in your CRM are one of the top ways to give customers a personalized experience with your brand — and also for you to keep track of how they’re progressing. The more you can narrow these down, the better results you’re going to achieve.

Remember, CRMs aren’t just for tracking your leads, so make them a part of your customer retention efforts.

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Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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