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Blog Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Putting the Relationships Back in CRM: How to Retain Customers

Customer churn is one of the most painful parts of business. Businesses understand and agree that it’s more cost effective to retain customers than acquire new ones but businesses continue to struggle in sustaining long lasting relationships with their clients.

A recent study from IBM showed that most companies using CRM use it to solely gather transactional information with little focus on relationships. They focus on sales and place very little emphasis on what the “R” in CRM actually stands for.

The same study shows that companies who use data to foster relationships outperform those don’t. As such, it’s not surprising when you see stats like these:

  • Repeat customers are more likely to spend 33% than new ones (RetailActive)
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25-125% (Gartner Group)
  • 68% of customers leave because they perceive you are indifferent to them – (Customer Retention Report)

As we discussed in our eBook, relationships matter. It’s relationships that help us retain customers and it’s relationships that help our businesses generate referrals that lead to operation success. Here are few ways to transform your organization into a relationship empire:

Use Your CRM to Gather Intelligence

One of greatest strengths found within the CRM is the ability to collect and organize data in a way that highlights future and existing opportunities. For example, your CRM data can help you in identifying things that you offer that your customers need. Additionally, with the integration of relationship software, it can help you in generating the right introductions at the right time.
Customer relationship management applications are a proven tool. Customers of tools like Salesforce have demonstrated and been known to have the ability to increase a companies level of sales by up to 29% while also increasing their overall sales productivity by 34%. The standard implementation of CRM works. Injecting a focus of relationships will only help elevate your effectiveness.

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Create a Culture that Embraces Relationships

The fact that companies who focus on relationship data do better than those who don’t should be enough to make you look in the mirror. Instead of solely pushing your sales team to find new opportunities and close deals, embrace the idea of having a team that spends time nurturing and building existing relationships.

Studies have found that communication, by phone, email, direct mail or, if need be, in person, can keep a customer on the verge of defection from leaving for a competitor. The human touch goes a long way but will only happen if an organizations culture is built on demonstrating how much they value their existing relationships.

Conduct Research and Gather Customer Insights

Discovering problems within your organization can be tricky, but that’s where surveys can help. Instead of taking your sales reps word for it, conduct research that is both qualitative and quantitative by nature. Use your CRM to measure and track how strong relationships are within your company and use surveys to hear what your customers think of your product or service offering.

Data and conversations can lead to key insights that are specifically linked to customer attrition. This type of intelligence can help your business in figuring out how to better serve customers while optimizing their overall plan for retention and profits.

Reward Retention related to Key Clients

When determining how your organization will retain customers, you also want to think about which customers deserve your focus. Which ones are the most valuable for your business and which would be the most costly to lose?

When that client signed the dotted line, your organization most likely provided a reward of some sort to the person who generated the business. Instead of solely rewarding your sales team on the closing of a client, also reward your team on the retention of a client. This reward system will ensure that they put time and effort into ensuring that year over year, this client is happy and satisfied.

We’re striving to put the relationship back in CRM, which is why we’re now fully integrated with Salesforce software. We bring valuable and actionable sales intelligence to Salesforce CRM. We analyze the connections and communications a company and its employees have with prospects and customers to uncover relationship strength and who’s connected to who.

Want to learn more? Request a demo today.

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