Consistency requires a systematic approach
Well developed customer retention strategy as a component of CRM will help any business improve their bottom line. The amount of time and energy required to make new sales makes it vitally important to retain current customers. Trends in 2013 include moving away from the 'Wow' experience to a consistent customer service model. Friendlier and caring customer service representatives along with targeting communication are also trends to help customer retention.
Consistent Customer Service
A Harvard Business Review study done in July 2012 shows that consistent customer services is more important than a one time 'wow' experience when something goes wrong. Customers want consistent service that requires little effort from them. This type of service will require businesses to ensure their processes are customer friendly and staff is fully trained on how to interact effectively with customers at all times. Anyone who talks to a customer should work to make that experience a pleasant one for the customer.
Customer Return Policies
No matter how wonderful a product may be, occasionally a customer will need to return something. When this process is difficult the customer may be reluctant to do business with the company again to avoid this difficult process in the future. The return policy is seen by the customer as part of customer service, not a seperate process. Simple customer return policies ensure the process of returning is easy to understand and refunds are delivered promptly.
Customers already receive a lot of email, newsletters and sales ads. Consumers have learned to ignore mass marketing techniques. Creating a targeted communication plan will help retain customers because they feel as though the company knows and understands them.
Your CRM system will provide communications history with company accounts, contacts and sales opportunities. Use your CRM information to clearly understand who is getting forgotten.
Communication can be in person, over the phone or electronically. Annual or more frequent meetings to verfy nothing has changed for the customer and they still anticipate the same level of need helps to set expectations. Regular phone calls to check in and make sure everything is running smoothly is another way to personalize communication. Social media with CRM can provide a way to communicate more informally, but remember this is not a private communication. Emails are widely used for communicating to individual customers.
Creating a regular schedule of communications that is part of a nurturing marketing program is a great way to help retain customers as they are given plenty of opportunities to give feedback to improve the relationship. Useful information in your CRM system can be used to create groups of just the right people to be engaged with specific shared information that matters to them. E-marketing capabilities are found in Sage ACT!, Sage CRM and Sage SalesLogix.
Obtain immediate feedback responses from customer satisfaction surveys and e-marketing campaigns. Now your customer service, marketing and sales departments have tools to develop stronger relationships and respond in more timely manner.
Customer retention programs are all about building and maintaining a relationship with individuals in a company. A well functioning CRM system provides the foundation for acquiring, growing and retaining profitable customers. Customer service policies, employee training and regular communication are key aspects in retaining customers over a long period of time. For more information on customer retention contact us.