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3 ways to increase customer retention

Existing customers are a predictable source of new revenue for a business. Yet, it’s easy to forget about them in the race for new customers. Here are three ways you can keep your valuable customers from walking out the door.
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If you work in sales, you know that finding new ways to increase revenue is always on top of your mind. Again and again, we hear it’s cheaper to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones. 

Still, most sales departments focus on acquisition instead of retention.

A reason for that is that it’s common to think that if you have a great product or service, then customer retention will naturally follow. And while this might be the case in some instances, the truth is that it’s a short-term strategy. Sooner or later, your customers will feel that you don’t care about them, and then they will eventually leave.

You have to earn your customer’s loyalty – continuously.

Having an effective customer retention program gives you the ability to identify, track and sell more to the customers who are most likely to become your long-term sources of revenue.

In this article we will explain why and how customer retention is essential to growing your sales, and we will also provide you with four tips and practical examples of how your CRM solution can help you carry out the ways to sell more to your existing customers.

Why you should care about existing customers

Every business needs new customers, but remember that the easiest and most predictable source of new revenue is right under your nose. It comes from the existing customers who already know your company and have bought from you.

Here are 3 reasons why you should care:

1. Achieve better conversion rates

Existing customers have already bought from you, so if they had good experience they will buy from you again. Trust and confidence has already been established and you know something about them already, and therefore, it’s easier to identify their needs.

2. Lower cost of marketing

You’ll spend less time finding them and convincing them that you are the one they should buy from. In addition, existing customers can give you valuable feedback on your performance. Was your customer service good enough? Did your product meet their expectations? Was it good value for money? You can use this feedback to continue to improve your product and service.

3. Increase profits

Selling to existing customers will be less focused on price as opposed to new customers, as you might not need as many discounts that you would usually use to attract new customers. And since your existing customers trust you, it may be possible to convince the customer to become interested in even more of your products or services through upselling and cross-selling.

3 tips on increasing customer retention

We’re all customers. We all want to feel like individuals, not like targets. A good customer database can provide a foundation to build long-term customer partnerships.

Here are 3 ways SuperOffice can help you increase customer retention and keep additional revenue from walking out the door, with examples.

1. Keeping your most profitable customers

The most obvious way to ensure customer retention is to prevent a customer from leaving. And the best way is to prioritize your most profitable ones.

Information in your CRM software can reveal which of your accounts are responsible for the most revenue. This information lets you budget your time accordingly and allocate resources where they will have the most return.

This is bound to pay off if you consider the 80/20 rule that says 20 % of your customers will generate 80 % of your revenue.

If you pay attention, you can always see the signals of your customers impending departure. All you have to do is to identify the key variables such as purchase patterns, product usage and service calls that identify customers that are about to leave. When you capture these signals, you can put specific actions in place to stop your customers before they leave.

Let’s say you want to know how many of your VIP customers have not purchased anything in the last 6 months, which might be a sign of them considering leaving.

 1. Make a selection of all your VIP customers

  1. Go to Selection
  2. Click on New to create a new Dynamic selection of Companies/contacts
  3. You can call the selection “All VIP customers”
  4. Add the criteria: Company - Category - is one of: “Customer” (or “VIP customer”)
  5. Click Save

 2. Make a selection of all sales completed in the last 6 months

  1. Click on New to create a new dynamic selection of Companies/contacts
  2. Call the selection “Customers who bought in the last 6 months”
  3. Add the criteria:
    • Sales - Completed is: Yes
    • Sales - Date between: [for example 18-03-2015 – 18-09-2015]
  4. Click Save

 3. Combine selections 1 and 2

  1. Click on New to create a new combined selection
  2. Call the selection “VIP customers who haven’t bought in the last 6 months”
  3. Selection 1: Select “All VIP customers” as your first selection
  4. Selection 2: Select “Sales completed in the last 6 months” as your second selection
  5. Choose the Combination type: “Only in selection 1”
  6. Click Save

You now have a list of VIP customers who haven’t purchased from you in over half a year. You can then follow up on these customers and find out the reasons why they were not purchasing, and see to preventing them to leave your business. 

2. Target customers with special offers

The more you know about your customers, the more you can tailor your approach to each individual.

SuperOffice CRM lets you view a customer’s purchase history so that you can determine what kind of offer will be most appealing to each individual and increase relevancy, which will keep your brand on your customers’ minds.

Let’s say you want to follow-up on the customers who showed their interest in your product, but haven’t bought anything from you. Then you can identify ways to convert their interest into an actual purchase by offering them special discounts or some additional value to your product.

 1. Make a selection of customers who are interested in product news

  1. Go to Selection
  2. Click on New to create a new dynamic selection of companies
  3. Call the selection “Customers interested in our product news”
  4. Add the criterion: Contact - Contact interest - is one of: "Product news”
  5. Click Save

 2. Create a selection of all open sales activities

  1. Click on New to create a new dynamic selection of Companies,
  2. Call the selection: "Companies with open sales activities"
  3. Add the criterion: Sales - Status is: "Open"
  4. Click Save

 3. Remove selection 2 from selection 1

Last, you need to combine these selections to remove the members in the second one from the first one and get a list of contacts who are signed up for your newsletter, but haven't initiated a sale: 

  1. Click on new to create a new combined selection
  2. Selection 1: Select “Customers interested in our Product news” as your first selection
  3. Selection 2: Select “Companies with open sales activities” as your second selection
  4. Choose the combination type: Only in selection 1
  5. Click Save

This list is a pretty hot collection of contacts to have your sales reps to follow up on.

3. Personalize your follow-ups

A relationship is something that is established between people, and SuperOffice CRM helps make it easier to see your customer as a person and not just a number.

When completing the necessary fields when registering a contact, you can use personal notes and other bits of information to personalize your outreach. With this information in hand, you can adjust your follow-up strategies accordingly.

Let’s say you’ve met most of your customers already through management seminars. However, there are still some decision makers who haven’t come to your seminars and therefore you want to contact them for individual follow up. How would you do that?

 1. Make a selection of all your customers

  1. Go to Selection
  2. Create a new dynamic selection of companies/contacts
  3. Call the selection “Company: All customers”
  4. Add the criteria: Category - is one of “Customer”
  5. Click Save

 2. Create a selection of contacts who have attended your seminars last twelve months:

Note: For this to work, you need to have added participants as project members in projects for each seminar.  

  1. Click on New to create a new static selection of companies/contacts
  2. Call the selection “Customers who have attended our seminars last twelve months”
  3. Click Save
  4. Find a seminar project
  5. Find the tab Project members and mark all the members
  6. Right click and pick “Add to Selection” from the menu
  7. Choose to add them to the selection “Contacts who have attended our seminars last twelve months”
  8. Repeat with all your seminar projects
  9. Press OK

 3. Remove members in selection 2 from selection 1

  1. Click on New to create a new combined selection
  2. Selection 1: Select “Company: All customers” as your first selection,
  3. Selection 2: Select “Contacts who have attended our seminars last twelve months” as your second selection
  4. Choose the combination type: Only in selection 1
  5. Click Save

The result is a list of contacts who have not attended a seminar for the last 12 months.

Conclusion

With the help of SuperOffice CRM, you can gather and manage information on your customers and also manage activities around customer engagement.

Use the data that your CRM system provides you with, and you will continue to retain customers, keep them happy and grow profits – all without the added expense of acquiring new customers.

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