Customer Retention Strategies
Is it better to chase new business or look after and retain your existing customers?
Make customer retention a key strategy in your business.
Having said that fresh customers are crucial, it’s time to backtrack a little. A stream of new clients is great, but only if they are treated well when they interact with your firm. A company that attracts a lot of attention and then fails to satisfy most of its customers soon develops a notorious reputation.
Treating your customers like cattle is not the route to sustainable revenues, and it never will be. Instead, when customers connect via firms, they want to be provided with useful information. They want to be impressed from the start by how they are treated. Think about it. We often develop opinions about people based on how friendly they are when they meet us, and companies are no different.
How does the cost of retaining an existing customer compare to the cost of acquiring a new customer?
Deciding whether to stick or twist isn’t just a problem for card players. It’s also a common dilemma for small and medium-sized businesses. On one hand, you need to expand your sales efforts to attract more leads and open up new customer groups. On the other hand, if you focus too much on developing new leads, you can neglect your loyal customer base, and they might go elsewhere next time they need to make an order? So what should you do? Stick with your client base and focus on repeat purchases, or throw caution to the wind and constantly appeal to new customers? The right strategy is to balance the two.
Perfect Your Sales Funnel to Consistently Attract Leads: Every business needs to have a lead generation and conversion strategy. You can’t survive forever by cultivating a few high-value customers and hoping that they will remain loyal.
In a competitive business environment, customers are constantly shopping around. With this in mind, you need to position yourselves to appear on the radar of potential customers. This means building an online sales funnel that attracts attention to your products, draws people onto your website, entices them to connect with you, and converts that interest into concrete sales. It doesn’t matter how well you treat your customers if they aren’t turning up in the first place, to put some effort into attracting leads, it really pays off.
Do you have more than one system running your business? - Re-keying information from one system to the next is both time consuming and prone to inaccuracy. As an example, your customer information can be synchronised between your accounting, CRM and eCommerce package with little to no user involvement.
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Reliable, repeat customers are the foundations for sustainable success, as their sales allow firms to plan for the future. That’s why successful firms work hard to keep high-value customers satisfied. They know that a few regular customers are worth their weight in gold, and you should too.
Thankfully, there are tools available that can help any company optimise their customer relations. Chief among these tools is Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). Here are some things to think about if you are considering implementing CRM into your day-to-day operations.
Create a Process Map to When Implementing CRM
Before you start tinkering with CRM, it helps to carry out a full process-mapping audit across your enterprise. This entails visualising how resources flow across the business, and how staff communicate with clients. With the information produced by a process-mapping audit, you will be in the position to start introducing new CRM strategies (and selling them to staff and other stakeholders). At Flowbird, we are process-mapping experts, so don’t be afraid to bring in outside assistance at this early stage.
With the information produced by a process-mapping audit, you will be in the position to start introducing new CRM strategies (and selling them to staff and other stakeholders). At Flowbird, we are process-mapping experts, so don’t be afraid to bring in outside assistance at this early stage.
Find the Right CRM Package For Your Needs
This is crucial. When you introduce a CRM system into your business, you will be making radical changes to the way staff work and the IT infrastructure that you use. This means that you need to be completely comfortable with the software you are buying and the way that it is configured.
Try to find a CRM provider that knows your specific product area and has a track record of working with firms of your size. For small and medium-sized manufacturers, the personal touch of working directly with SME experts can ensure effective implementation. In the case of CRM, one-size-fits-all certainly doesn’t apply. You need a bespoke design that works for you, your staff and your customers, so choose wisely.
In the case of CRM, one-size-fits-all certainly doesn’t apply. You need a bespoke design that works for you, your staff and your customers, so choose wisely.
Create a Value Analysis Plan to Gauge CRM Success
When you introduce CRM, you need to have a definition of what constitutes “success” in mind. We know that CRM has many advantages. It keeps customers happy, draws new customers into your orbit, streamlines production and empowers staff. But you need concrete metrics to assess whether your CRM strategy is paying off.
We know that CRM has many advantages. It keeps customers happy, draws new customers into your orbit, streamlines production and empowers staff. But you need concrete metrics to assess whether your CRM strategy is paying off.
Are customer complaints dipping, and are they being resolved? Have repeat orders increased, and how much has this benefited the business? Questions like these lead to valuable information that can be fed back into your processes in a positive feedback loop.
Questions like these lead to valuable information that can be fed back into your processes in a positive feedback loop.
Can You Ensure Staff and Management Buy-In?
Can you be sure that your bosses or employees understand what you are trying to achieve? Don’t take anything for granted.
Firms need to prepare for any enterprise-wide changes like CRM implementations, and such changes will always bed-in more quickly and deeply if staff have been convinced that they are vital. If you are considering a CRM implementation, take time to talk to every stakeholder about their roles.
Implementing CRM can be a huge boost for small and medium-sized firms, and it is a crucial component of a slick inbound marketing strategy. At Flowbird, we can advise about how to introduce CRM, so that both you and your customers can benefit.