Client retention is a big part of a successful business. When we look at figures, we know that on average 80% of business comes from 20% of your customer base.
But does your current system of customer tracking show you who these customers are, what they purchase, and when?
When implementing a new system or using a historic database, be that Excel, CRM or otherwise the focus is mainly on Sales, Lead Management or Customer Service. However, a well-implemented Customer Relationship Management system can help with customer engagement, information and also retention.
In this blog, we will explore the key areas when focusing on client retention within your business.
The Business Plan
Knowing you want to retain more customers is basic business, but having a plan in place to achieve this is often something that is overlooked as the focus is driven elsewhere in the business.
Having a clear plan on how you wish to retain your customers is key to long term business stability. There are a few important things to implement into your retention plan including company culture, account management, customer data, support and both upsell and cross-selling opportunities. Each one supports the next, as we know people buy from people and although they may be initially swayed by promotions and ideals, customers stay with business long term because they feel valued and they are well managed.
Getting the data right.
What you need to know about your existing customer base may differ dependent on your business, if you are unsure where to start in compiling this information follow the guide below.
· When your customer was acquired
· Where they came from
· Who is the main point of contact
· How long have they been actively purchasing from you
· When do they normally purchase
· What do they purchase
· When did you last speak to them
· Have they ever passed you a referral
You may wish to have monthly calls with your customers, send out newsletters or email campaigns or simply have an annual call.
Account management can come in many different forms and should fit around the larger business plan. It should also fit in with your business offering and be manageable day-to-day.
tever you choose to do, these activities should always be completed with the customer in mind. Connecting more often with your customers may result in enquiries for additional products or services but ultimately, it is about building long term relationships and should not be just another sales call.
Whatever you choose to do, these activities should always be completed with the customer in mind. Connecting more often with your customers may result in enquiries for additional products or services but unlitmatly, it is about building long term relationships and should not be just another sales call.
Add value, ask questions and be engaging. This makes your customers feel valued and encourages them to contact you if they have a concern or issue, meaning you can identify these concerns early and fix them before they escalate. Improving trust with you and your brand.
Customers that are well managed also promote your business, offer referrals, reviews and testimonials. All of which can help our businesses grow.
Return on Investment
In most businesses we spend money to acquire new business, this may be from Marketing, Events, Networking or simply time spent.
Either way, it's important to know the average lifetime value of your customers to try to obtain more of the right customers in the right way, keeping acquisition costs low and profits high.
Tracking and managing these customers
This is the most important part of account management and customer retention. You need to be able to track valuable information as mentioned above. But, in order to be effective and build long term trust and loyalty, and to make your customers feel valued enough to stay year on year you need to track your interactions with them.
Simple things like knowing the last conversation you had, checking they had a satisfactory resolution on their last concern? did the latest product or service meet their needs? All of these small things will make a big difference.
Having an effective Customer Relationship Management system in place will manage this exceptionally well, you can track the information you need, add notes and save documents and emails against individuals, the businesses and also sales opportunities, customer service cases and more.
CRM is also great for reporting on this information, this means you can make informed decisions over future business plans, you can use existing customer information to retain more business and in addition, to help you build an “ideal” customer profile. In order to accurately target future customers that can be equally as profitable for your business, allowing faster growth.