“If you want loyalty, get a dog.” – Grant Fairley
With apologies to cuddly pooches everywhere, cultivating loyalty in the business world takes a bit more than a snuggle with a canine friend.
In fact, customer loyalty, these days, is almost as much of an oxymoron as “military intelligence,” or “jumbo shrimp.” Always a moving target, loyalty is now even more elusive than ever, now that our customers can comparison shop on the fly from their smartphones, or simply ask omnipresent AI brains like Siri and Alexa to chime in.
This trend prompted some observers to declare 2016 as “The Year of the Customer,” as a result of the consumer gaining, perhaps permanently, the upper hand in the selling paradigm. As Forbes reported in their feature on the trend, the customer is smarter, has more channels to connect with companies, and they hashtag, Facebook and Tweet about their experiences ad nauseum.
Given that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one, how can we gain the upper hand in this paradigm?
Alas – there may be, in fact, a secret weapon in turning the tides in our favor. Those customers who are spreading their loyalty across the eUniverse like confetti are leaving a trail in their wake – in the form of analytics that, if harnessed correctly, can help us to keep our consumers devoted to our brand.
Enter CRM – the soon-to-be-declared hero in your battle for consumer loyalty. If it’s been awhile since you’ve looked at the latest features or benefits of your customer relationship management suite, you may not have noticed that the tools to drive sales productivity and add intelligence to your customer-incubating process might in fact be right under your nose.
At Netwoven, we have helped a multitude of clients to implement, and optimize, an amalgam of cloud-connected tools and techniques to supercharge their CRM efforts. We suggest a recipe that combines tools like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and marketing automation software (such as Hubspot or Marketo) with social listening and dynamics marketing programs to gain detailed insights on the habits, desires, wants and needs of your customer base.
If we haven’t yet fully convinced you of the importance of acting now to shore up your CRM system as part of your loyalty cultivation program, here are three concrete reasons to ponder:
- The Power of One: Everyone wants to feel as if they are the most important person to an enterprise. With a solid CRM effort, you’ll be able to track the habits and attributes of your best customers, and target them effectively with sales pitches that will resonate specifically with them. CRM can help you personalize follow-ups, target customers for sales based on previous shopping habits, and appeal to the “human” side of the transactional equation.
- Consistency: No customer likes a “here today, gone tomorrow” mentality when dealing with enterprises. Sending an offer intermittently, or failing to complete the chain of communication in the process of providing customer service, can be an unforgiveable sin. With CRM, you’ll be able to leverage the power of automation to “touch” your consumer consistently, and to tie up any loose ends. You can build campaigns that offer deals, create an interactive dialogue, and even give the consumer the impetus to share their positive customer experience with others via social posts.
- Rewarding Experiences: There’s no way to underscore that sense of individual importance for the consumer than to reward their loyalty to their brand. In addition to helping track spending habits, CRM can help you gauge – and reward – frequency, dollars spent, and other measures of a consumer’s devotion to your enterprise. This will keep your VIP customers engaged – and ringing your cash register – over and over. Given that six out of 10 consumers believe in the power of loyalty programs, it’s an easy and unmistakable way to secure your share.
So, before you let Rover turn over, and head for a greener pasture – stop those disloyal doggies in their tracks. Take a fresh look at how CRM can help you to retain your pack, and to ensure that your enterprise is keeping your customers’ tails wagging.