Customer Relationship Management is a fast-moving science that changes all the time. Cloud computing and the age of personalization have only just begun to have an impact. Big Data has changed the way we analyze the client relationship. But, when can get it right, you are setting your business up for sustainable growth.
If you can boost customer retention by 5%, you can boost your profits by a remarkable 25-90%, based on the numbers in the 2014 study by Bain & Co. KPMG recently backed this research by revealing that the retail industry is focused more on customer retention than acquisition.
That’s one reason why CRM software is the fastest growing software market in 2018, according to business analysts Gartner.
We have five unique CRM strategies that will make the world of difference to your customer retention and, ultimately, your profits.
1. Devote time and resources to training staff on your CRM software
Make sure you take all the online training, read about your CRM product and make sure it’s really working for you as hard as it can. Pro tip: It probably isn’t right now.
CRM systems are part of the puzzle, but you need your staff to truly understand them and use all of the features. Otherwise, you are simply losing money. Proper training will give you an instant ROI and a boost to your bottom line as your CRM becomes less of a peripheral tool and more of a central brain plugged in to your whole marketing process.
It will also give your sales people a chance to get past their own pain points and embrace your system.
While you’re at it, take time to look at some of the other options on the market before you spend time and money. CRM software is moving forward at such a rate that your system might simply have been left trailing.
Keep up to date with the CRM innovations and look at the pricing structures, which can change radically, and make an informed choice on your CRM. Compare the features, onboarding help and training packages that could make switching providers the smart choice.
2. It’s time to embrace AI
Artificial Intelligence is already here but 2018 is the year that it will finally gain traction. This year, companies that use the Cloud’s massive computing power are going to get ahead and 87% of CRM software is now Cloud-based.
We’re heading into an era of chatbots and personalized communications that can talk to your customer 24/7. All your digital and offline communication will be tailored and delivered by machine learning and process automation. We’re also heading further into Big Data, which will find patterns and help us time and target each and every touch-point to perfection.
Endless A-B testing, automated design and more are already here, right now. The computers can also help you shift your budget between email marketing, social media, and traditional display advertising. Then, they can tell you what works.
Artificial Intelligence has the capacity to change the industry and influence every part of your company if you use it properly.
Your system will learn to integrate sales, marketing, social media and customer service into one almighty CRM hub.
So, make sure your CRM systems are on the Cloud and you have the computing power and the expertise to use it to the full. If you need to staff up with specialists or consultants to see you through the painful first steps, it will be worth it.
3. Go mobile with your CRM
It seems like a small change to your workflow, but giving access to the CRM from any device can make a massive difference to your productivity.
A recent study proved that 65% of sales professionals with access to a mobile CRM hit their sales targets, while just 22% hit their targets without this competitive advantage.
This is probably representative of a deeper commitment to the CRM software across the board and not solely down to flicking a switch on a mobile system.
If you don’t have Cloud-based access on-the-go already then this a positive difference you may want to make.
4. You need to ‘map’ each customer
In the modern age, 87% of people research products online before buying.
The same number shop on their mobile device and they interact with your brand on a number of different levels before committing to buy. You need to find all the touch points and create a map for the particular customer, which will tie into their personal profiles and help guide the user experience.
Strategic ads, augmented reality or video content will provide a tailored customer journey. AI can generate these maps instantly and analyze the hits and misses. So you don’t have to spend months crunching the numbers.
When you truly understand the customer journey then you can fine-tune it for each customer and reach out with the most effective campaign based on your past data. It’s a powerful tool that can boost customer satisfaction, acquisition and retention.
5. Commit to measurements
As the old saying goes, what you can measure, you can improve. So, it’s time to audit your organization’s KPIs and how you can work those into the CRM software. Take a good, hard look for cold, hard metrics. Prioritize your KPIs, figure out what fits your system and then commit to collecting as much data as possible.
Cloud computing can make sense of the madness and draw conclusions in seconds from vast amounts of data. It can see patterns that we just can’t and it can make strategic recommendations that could save you time and money on each and every customer. It also boosts your odds of repeat business and extending your retention of customers.
Adopt this brutal, numerical audit of your entire company and you will make savings across the board, while boosting profits. That’s because the numbers rarely lie, and you can take the gut feeling out of your marketing and customer retention plans.
If you have a CRM software package then you likely have far more tools at your disposal than you’re using right now. Audit your system, master it and then plug it into every customer touch-point.
These strategies are worth more than any quick trick or customer retention scheme. Together, these unique CRM strategies are a commitment to a data-driven future, tailored by AI, which will change the way you do business.