Editor’s note: Big news! We’re thrilled to announce our new data integration service that provides a bi-directional sync between our ecommerce platform and the key information systems that power your business. Here are just a few things your business can accomplish:
- A unified view of your data in a matter of hours (not weeks)
- Integration of the tools you rely on today (such as Salesforce) with our ecommerce platform
- Freedom from the burden of building and supporting custom-coded integrations
- Simplicity and cost savings associated with connecting disparate systems
- Automated processes, reducing human error
For more information on Integration Services, click here. Read on for our latest blog post on customer retention!
Acquiring new customers is costly, so companies need to hang on tightly to existing ones. This can be hard work, but comes with a major payoff: even a small increase in customer retention can significantly raise profits. And you’ve probably got many of the tools you need for the task already.
All it takes is a little creative thinking …
Consider your CRM. Like most of us, you probably use a CRM solution like Salesforce to close and nurture new customers. But that CRM can also be a valuable tool for increasing your customer lifespan after that initial purchase.
Read on for a few simple ways that your team can use its CRM to improve customer retention.
1. Centralize all your customer data in one place
Disparate departments rely on each other now more than ever. How a Customer Support Rep processes a return may dictate whether the transaction is included in the Controller’s revenue recognition or whether a Sales Rep is notified to follow up with a personalized offer. Historically, these teams (and their data) have been disconnected.
But these data sources can easily be integrated, with your CRM acting as a central hub.
Here’s an example: say your Marketing team uses Marketo, your Sales team uses Salesforce and your Customer Service team uses Zendesk. You can integrate Marketo and Zendesk with Salesforce to add their respective data to each customer’s contact record in Salesforce, effectively creating a unified view of every customer.
This creates new opportunities for automation and delivers transparency through the entire sales funnel. Everyone’s on the same page – and you can be that much more effective at customer retention.
2. Personalize customer communications
Countless customer touch points are stored within your key information systems, including your marketing automation platform, analytics platforms, your ERP and even EPM systems. In the course of your relationships with your customers, you’ve probably gathered quite a lot of valuable data. But how to apply it?
Here’s one thought: by integrating all that data into your instance of Salesforce or other CRM, you can personalize communication to resonate better with customers. Personalizing is an easy way to make your customers feel special.
Add the activity tracked by other analytics tools such as search history to those customers’ contact records in your CRM. Armed with this info, your Sales and Marketing teams can customize bespoke emails and other forms of outreach based on customer preferences and behaviors.
This is a great experience for the customer. Why? Because they know if they open an email from you, they’ll receive offers tailored to their interests.
3. Monitor customer interaction
Real-time data is critical when delivering valuable customer communication. And it’s especially important if you want to increase the value of your relationships. If a customer hasn’t made a purchase or accessed any of your content in months, you’re at a high risk of losing them. Use your CRM to stay alert and keep customers coming back.
Nurture and reignite those relationships by setting up CRM notifications to alert you when a customer is interacting with your website or product. Sales reps can then reconnect with or extend offers, making the buying experience more targeted, timely and streamlined.
4. Re-engage your inactive customers
Inactive customers represent a huge opportunity. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, customers that have cancelled your service or haven’t shown activity in some time are still more likely to purchase than net new prospects who don’t know your business or brand.
Writing inactive or cancelled customers off as lost forever is foolish.
You are likely sitting on a sizable list size of inactive customers. Connect your CRM with your marketing automation tool or email platform and export that list as its own segment for future outreach and special offers. For example, our Marketing team integrates our Eloqua instance with Salesforce to reconnect with inactive customers.
A business that wants to move fast and increase revenue needs real-time access to the data that powers it. And customer retention is an area where enhancing the flow of that data can deliver big wins.
Make it easier by using your CRM as a unified data source to personalize customer communication, track customer interaction, and engage with inactive customers. Remember: understanding and responding to customer behavior can make or break a long-lasting customer relationship – and one of the best tools for the job is right in front of you.
One final caveat: integrating your CRM with other business systems on your own can be complex, costly and time consuming. We recommend streamlining all of this by using a data integration service that removes this burden – freeing you to focus on customer retention strategies.