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Increasing revenue is the focus of anyone who works in sales but with most sales people focused on new clients, they tend to forget about the current clients that they have. Despite it being easier and cheaper to keep current clients and sell or up sell to them, sales people seems to put their focus solely on acquiring new clients.

An Econsultancy report found that 68% of clients do not believe that their supplier cares about them and this is the main reason they choose to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Whilst it is great that people in sales believe enough in the product or service that they sell to think that customer retention will be a natural part of the sales process journey, they do not realise that current clients want to feel like they care about them and their business. Even though the customer has purchased from you, you need a nurturing strategy to ensure that the client stays with you.

This is where having a retention program in place becomes an asset to the business. A successful retention program gives you the ability to identify, track and sell more to these customers who are most likely to become your long-term sources of revenue.

Not only can customer retention be the biggest revenue for your business but with this follows customer referrals. This leads to the question how can your CRM help with customer loyalty?

One job of a CRM is to about know your customers – who they are, how they’ve been marketed to, their sales journey, what they have purchased from you, when and anything else that you may need to know about your customers. If your business has a customer retention program in place then you will keep selling to your current customers, and that’s when the buyer / seller relationship really starts.

It is important to note that a CRM software does not manage customer retention by itself, it will provide you with the tools to help you manage the activities around customer engagement and retention.

The question is what do you really need to do to influence customer retention?

Once you start creating a customer retention strategy, it is essential to consider the reasons and influences that will increase repeat purchases of your product or service.

In order to create your customer retention strategy, you need to have a range of data and information about your customers to help you measure and analyse their behaviour which you would be able to keep track of in a up to date CRM system. An CRM that is kept up to date can help pave the way for long last customer relationships.

Scheduling time to nurture your customers

CRMS have a scheduling & assignment feature readily available which allows you to schedule follow-up calls or emails and assign follow-up tasks to your team. By doing this, you can keep track of your appointments, and complete any tasks that you said you’d do when you said you’d do it.

An example of how this may be that you have a list of customers that you schedule to catch up with every six months and update them with any new information on your products / services, any pricing changes or to see how they are going with the product / service – basically a “check-in” call. You can also assign some of your colleagues to follow-up on these customers and generate follow-ups to appear in their diaries.

Retain customers with special offers

The more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor make your approach to each individual whether it be by the product / service they buy from you, where they are located or the time which they last purchased from you.

A CRM system lets you view a customer’s purchase history so that you can determine what kind of offer will be most appealing & relevant and keep your business on your customers’ minds.

You may want to follow-up on the customers who are in your sales or lead nurturing funnel. You can use your CRM to recognise ways to transform their interest into an actual sale by offering them special discounts or some additional value to your product.

You can utilise your CRM software to create a list of all customers that have reached a certain point in their sales journey and what products / services they are interested in to identify what offer would be the best option to turn these potential customers into buying customers.

Reward customers that spend

Information collected in your CRM software can reveal which of your customers are responsible for the most revenue. This information lets you allocate resources to where you will have the most profit.

If you have several incentives available, you may be able to choose from these when decide how to reward your most profitable customers to further increase their loyalty. Recognising these customers can also help you develop strategies for cross and upselling.

First, create a list of your most profitable customers and export this list from your CRM software. Now, you can start to follow up and let them know about the rewards and incentives in order to make them feel special, so they continue to remain as one of your most profitable customers.

Make it personal – but keep it professional

A relationship is something that is established between one or more people, and your CRM software can help make it easier to see your customer as a person and not just a number.

When completing the needed information whilst registering a contact, use personal notes and other bits of information that allow you to personalize your communication. With this information in hand, you can tweak your follow-up strategies accordingly.

Don’t underestimate the power of personalisation – a recent study found that personalising purchase history, user preferences and any other important information that can be found in a CRM system delivered a higher impact ROI.

Keeping your VIP customers

The most obvious way to guarantee customer retention is to avoid a customer from leaving.

Data that is readily available in your CRM system can identify the hints of your customers looming departure. All you have to do is to identify the key variables such as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls.

A management report can be built to provide you with the data that you need to capture the signals and put specific actions in place to stop your customers before they leave.

You many want to know how many of your customers have not purchased anything in the last six months, which might be a sign of them considering your service or even bringing their money to your competitors. You can use this information to initiate contact with the client and to follow up with them as to why they may not have purchased from you in the last six months.

With the help of CRM software, you can gather and manage information on your customers and also manage activities around customer engagement and retention.

The data that your CRM software can provide you with, will assist you to retain customers, keep them happy and grow revenue – without the added cost of obtaining new customers.