Many companies view their CRM software as a glorified marketing tool. As small business software goes, however, CRM software is a valuable addition to your customer communications toolbox. Not only can you use it to communicate with customers, it can also be a vital part of your retention strategy.
What is retention? In the marketing communications cycle, marketers talk about acquisition, retention, and brand loyalty. Acquisition is the first stage of acquiring a new customer. Retention is keeping the customer via repeat orders. Loyalty completes the cycle by turning an acquired customer from a repeat customer into someone who is a raving fan of the brand.
Retention strategies and brand loyalty are closely aligned. Like peanut butter and jelly, they’re best used together. That’s where your CRM system comes in handy.
CRM, or customer relationship management, is an approach to marketing that incorporates the use of software to manage customer communications and interactions. When used appropriately, your CRM system can be used to enact retention strategies that boost repeat sales. Repeat sales take less effort (and marketing dollars) than acquiring new customers, so it is well worth your time to learn how to make retention work with your CRM.
Three CRM Retention Ideas to Try
Your CRM software contains a great deal of data on your customers. Not only do you have their contact information, but you have information on previous purchases, complaints, and resolution of complaints. All of this can be used to build successful customer retention strategies.
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- Create a VIP customer system: Yes, manufacturers can roll out the red carpet and give the VIP treatment to their best customers. Why should retailers have all the fun? Come up with perks, rewards, and special treatment for your best customers. Perhaps they get a plant tour or a special turnaround time on shipping. Develop with your marketing, sales, and product teams a plan to create a VIP rewards system that ties your brand and products into rewards. Set up flags in your database to identify VIPs easily.
- Get personal: Personalization goes well beyond addressing people in emails by their first and last names. Personalization includes targeted offers and reminders based on a customer’s previous buying history and other information. If a customer always buys blue widgets in May, send them reminders in April. Other ideas for personalization include product recommendations, service reminders, “you may be running low on this ingredient or item” reminders, and other communications that show that you understand customers’ needs. They may be glad of the reminders, and you can always tailor your CRM so that you can send more or fewer messages to specific customers on a schedule that they prefer.
- Scheduling sales calls: CRM systems can be used to schedule sales calls well in advance so that you can ensure everyone gets a personal visit from a member of your sales force. Like personalizing your emails and other marketing to the client, having someone call or visit clients can add a personal touch to their interactions with your company. To make sure it happens regularly, schedule it in advance.
Customers who feel valued will return to purchase from you again. When all things are considered equal such as price and value, great relationships are what builds a strong customer base. You can create this by using your CRM software to enact retention strategies that work for your unique business and customer base.
Do you need CRM software? Sage 300 ERP offers exceptional business management, accounting and financial support, and CRM modules that can help you create and build strong customer relationships. For more information, please visit Positive Vision to learn about Sage 300. With the right data, you can better manage your business. Learn more on our website or contact us today.