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6 Smart Customer Retention Strategies to Boost Productivity and Sales

No one knows your business better than you.  But knowing your business and knowing the best ways to grow it are two different things.

For example, did you know that it costs your business 5 to 25X more money to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one?  And that fact begs an important question:  are you doing what you should be to keep current customers satisfied so they come back to your business again and again?

WHAT IS CUSTOMER RETENTION?
Customer retention is a series of actions your business takes to ensure continued customer satisfaction and, because these strategies tend to be relatively inexpensive, to boost profits.  As Shopify points out, because acquiring new customers tends to be costly, it makes good sense for your company to take the common-sense steps necessary to retain the customers you already have:

"Customer retention is the collection of activities a business uses to increase the number of repeat customers and to increase the profitability of each existing customer.  Customer retention strategies enable you to both provide and extract more value from your existing customer base. You want to ensure the customers you worked so hard to acquire stay with you, have a great customer experience, and continue to get value from your products."

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO RETAIN YOUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS?

Every business is different, of course, with different customers, different business goals, and different marketing challenges.  That said, most businesses can increase their customer retention rate by following some simple, common-sense marketing strategies, including the following 6:

1.  INVEST IN CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) SOFTWARE
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a technology that records every interaction you have with your customers.  This includes things like phone calls and emails but can also capture your customers' and prospective customers' actions on your website.

Because CRM records interactions with your business at every stage within the sales funnel, the best CRM systems are used to improve communications with prospects, leads, new customers, and longtime customers.  A sales, marketing, and operations platform, like GreenRope, referred to as a "complete CRM" solution, will enhance your company's customer experience, resulting in longer, more profitable relationships.

2.  GATHER THE RIGHT DATA           
Your CRM is only as powerful as the data it captures and manages.  The data you collect can help you reach out and connect with your customers in more meaningful ways. 

Imagine, for example, getting a call from a concerned customer and knowing (from your CRM dashboard) that this is the second time they've called with the same issue.  As a salesperson or support team member, you can make sure that their issue is addressed immediately to avoid a third or even fourth call. 

You should also collect data like birthdays, interests, and preferences, so you can use that data to build relationships that matter. When the customer feels like you ‘know’ them, they are more likely to do business with you. People do business with people they like. 

3.  GIVE SALES, MARKETING,  AND SERVICE A BOOST
The more your sales and customer service reps know about your customers, the more effectively they'll be able to answer their questions and solve their problems.  If a sales rep knows, for example, that Mrs. Smith prefers emails to phone calls, he can use that information to ensure she remains satisfied with your business.  If marketing knows Mr. Jones' entire purchase history, they could ask him how those products are working out for him, and suggest additional products that he might like. 

4.  SHOW YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU CARE    
Just as there are days in the life of your business that are more important than others (like the day of a big sale, for example), your customers have special days too, like birthdays and anniversaries.  By including these dates in your CRM database, you could send every customer a happy birthday or anniversary card.  You could even up the ante by including a gift, like a discount on their next purchase. 

5.  INCLUDE A FEEDBACK LOOP
The best way to find out what your customers think is to ask them.  And one of the best ways to do that is by launching a customer satisfaction survey. Use a survey tool, like GreenRope’s to create surveys, track responses, and trigger automation based on specific answers. Plus,  you can store survey answers in your CRM, making them accessible and usable for customer service, sales, and marketing.  In this way, you can learn what your customers care about most and use that information to improve your business and boost profits.

6.  PICK UP THE PHONE
We live in an increasingly digitized world, and that's why the personal touch is more important than ever—and something that can put your business head and shoulders above the competition.  People like being treated like people.  It's critically important for this reason that you never forget how important face-to-face and phone conversations are.  Pick up the phone from time to time—your customers will love it—and reward you with their loyalty and advocacy.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Investing in robust CRM software—and using that software effectively—is one of the best ways to acquire new customers and satisfy existing ones.  But it can also seem both complicated and confusing.  That's where we can help.

To learn more about the ways GreenRope's integrated CRM and marketing automation platform can improve your marketing, increase productivity and boost sales, sign up for our live demo today.

 

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