It is a known fact that customers are themost valuable asset of every business, and in order to increase customer value itis important to communicate with customers to create transparency between thecompany and its customers. It is believed that more than half of the annualrevenue of newly-established companies comes from repeat buyers. Head ofcompanies invest a great deal of time, effort and resources into customerretention than acquisition.
In abusiness world, retention of existing customers and expanding the scope ofbusiness is vital. With increase of customers it is getting hard to organizecontacts with its current and prospective customers on a traditional way andthat’s when companies’ sales managers decide to implement Customer RelationshipManagement (CRM) software in order to facilitate the process and benefit fromits use. CRMsoftware allows sales employees to store and organize information aboutcustomers and their interactions and provide a cross-functional access to thestored information within the company. The mainpurpose of CRM is helping companies employ technologies and human resources to learnmore about customers behaviour and their values. CRM is ahelpful tool for increasing revenues by producing products and providingservices that customers want, cross-selling products more effectively, offeringbetter customer service, identifying and targeting prospective customers,attracting new and retaining existing customers, creating and implementingmarketing campaigns with clear goals and objectives, making call centres moreefficient, forming individualized relationships with customers and providingthe highest level of customer service to the most profitable customers, helpingsalesforce close deals faster as well as simplifying marketing and salesprocesses. Once your business cares for its existing customers, energies should bediverted to discovering new customers and expanding the market.
The moreknowledge you possess about your customers, the easier it is to identify newvisions and increase the customer base. It’s in a human nature to strive for change and from time to timecustomers might feel a need in change and in this sense technology canfacilitate the process of information acquisition about customers and ensurethat everyone in an organisation can use this information.In short, CRM is about getting to know your customers, i.e. who theyare, what they want, what they like and dislike, which marketing campaigns areattracting them and how they react. If there’s no drawbacks, then you continue sellingto them, providing your services to them and you win their loyalty and trust. Then the main concern comes to mind – how to retain these loyalcustomers and which tools to use. CRM software can’t solve customer retentionproblem on its own, but it can tackle you with the necessary tools to help youmanage customer involvement activities.
First andforemost, the company should study the reasons why customers keep buying fromthem and how to increase their interest in their products and services. To thisend, the only solution to the problem will be evaluating customer behaviour,analysing their buying habits through extensive data and information storage in order to build long-term customer relationships. Customer retention means preventing customers from leaving andconsidering competitors. To prevent customers from leaving sales representativesshould take an in-depth approach to customer relationship and capture every signalcustomers may display, and then create a list of the most valuable customersalong with the list of all sales conducted within the last 6 months using CRMsystem.
It helps identify customers who haven’t purchased from you in 6 monthsperiod.After identifying those customers, it is prudent to follow up with themost valuable customers and understand why they’ve stopped buying from you andlook for ways to prevent them from leaving.As it was already mentioned, CRM software enables you to keep track ofyour customers’ buying history that can help you position the most appealingoffer for every customer in a right manner and increase its relevancy, whichwill preserve your brand on your customers’ minds. For example, if a customershowed an interest in your product or service, but haven’t purchased anything,then it would be logical to offer them special discounts or some vale addedfeatures to your products.
CRM database disclose the most profitable accounts, which can allow youto plan your time respectively and allot resources where they will bring themost revenue. It can also let you reward those customers to increase theirloyalty and develop strategies for up-selling/cross-selling.Some sales representative may use personal notes and other subjectivelyrelevant information about the customer while registering a contact in order topersonalize follow-up strategies and make it easy for further outreach. And finally, CRM software allows you to plan follow-up calls or emailsor delegate follow-ups to your team members to help you keep track of yourappointments and tasks.CRM software has proven to be the most useful tool for retainingcustomers by skilfully organizing activities around their needs and preferencesto keep them happy and satisfied.
Another very helpful tool in customerretention is a Big Data. Big Data is a loyalty program created for collection of thevast and valuable information from customer interactions, social media, purchaseand browsing history, etc. Theprogram allows businesses to track information regarding purchased products, websitesvisited and bought through as well as other considered networks, and evencurrencies customers used to buy. All these information enables businesses tooffer their customers the most attractive deals and promotions, and make themfeel valued.
Somecompanies integrate Big Data into CRM to even more increase customer engagement,satisfaction and subsequently generate higher profits. The integration bringssome benefits such as simplifying decision-making process, better customerunderstanding, allowing to link CRM with socialmedia to better interact with customers, predicting behavioural modelling byenabling analytics to focus on segmented demographics. It also allows to benchmark,in other words to track how well the company is operating compared to competitorsand in accordance with its strategy. Despiteits benefits, Big Date also has some hindrances and difficulties. First of all,it is a huge and constant flow of information which should be properly analysedand it may lead to some kind of strategic changes within the company.
Second ofall, failure to interpret the information and consequently to choose the wrongstrategy. Butit is important to understand that no matter how helpful any technology mightseem and how much data you have, the way you use it, interpret it to providesubstantial benefits and elaborate on a further strategy is the mostfundamental action for the company. Data can be taken from different sourcesand analysed to enable cost and time reductions, new product developments,optimization of offerings, decision making and etc. Skilful data usage can helpdetermine sources of failure, create smart and attractive promotional messages,learn customer buying behaviour and habits, figure out future risks and moreelse.
Mobiledevices are also of huge importance when it comes to customer retention. Withglobalization that is taking place in the world people get more hecticlifestyles and they move all the time. People get busy, involve in manyprojects and multitask, work remotely, travel a lot and emailing even on theplane. To this end customers may wish to use their mobile devices to stayupdate in order not to miss any important information.
Businesses must considerthis and provide all the information and its updates by the means of mobilephones. This will require from the company to acquire and employ newapplications. By doing so, companies can exceed their customers’ expectationsby providing convenience.Disney can be a good example of a company whomakes important information available via mobile.
Disney created “MyDisney Experience” which synchronizescustomer details and offers suggestions and information tailored to your familyand individual interests. Application enables customers to plan theirvacation, make reservations, book tickets, track timetables of their much-lovedentertainment shows, buy pictures and etc. Information availability that thisapplication provides make it easier for customers to plan their dailyactivities and entertain themselves while vacationing.And last but not least is theemployment of new technologies to put customer service channels likeTwitter, Facebook, Instagram, email and phone number into a centralized systemthat syncs email addresses with related phone numbers and social networksaccounts.Thisenables companies to track customers details regardless the platform theycontact you from and share this information across departments, so they canalso see customers’ past conversations and purchases. It also helps to keepinternal experiences and transactions smooth and clear.
For instance, it allowsyour customers to avoid unnecessary calls with numerous departments within acompany as well as miscommunication by bringing the departments together tosave customers time and give them reliable overall experience.To sum up all aforementioned, we can concludethat technologies from CRM, mobile devices, emails to social networks can be ofsignificant importance for companies in their customer retention efforts.However, the most vital criteria here is how a company interprets and analysesall the collected information to project better results, adjust their strategyaccordingly, gain and retain valuable customers and offer them best experience possible.