Do your customers adore you? If so, you must be doing something right.
Do you have a customer retention strategy in place or goals to improve customer loyalty? It’s one thing to acquire new customers, but it’s entirely another thing to keep them coming back for more.
We’ve asked some of the nation’s leading entrepreneurs to share proven tips to help you nurture customer relationships and leverage proven customer relationship management (CRM) tactics. Here are seven CRM tips that can help you ‘woo’ your customers and turn them into your biggest fans.
1. Keep it simple.
The mistake that most small businesses make is that they try to find a CRM application that does too much. Remember: When you integrate CRM into a company’s daily life, the CRM tool is only as good as the people using it. Take the time to find out what your internal needs are and who will utilize CRM on a daily basis. Once you have that, then you stand a fighting chance to improve your client relationships and build loyalty.
– Kevin Smith, Founder and Managing Partner at Open Connection Media: @Open_Connection
2. Stay in touch.
Don’t spam existing customers, but also be careful not to email them too infrequently. We’ve found that spacing email campaigns out by more than 2-3 weeks significantly cuts into our open rate and click-thru rate, and leads to unnecessary email newsletter unsubscribes. We’ve observed the same impact on conversions; the longer we wait between email campaigns, the lower the conversion rate. So be sure to communicate frequently enough with your existing customers to keep the relationship top of mind.
– Lauren Elward, CEO at Castle Ink: @Castle_Ink
3. Follow the ‘Golden Rule’.
Your front-line staff will treat your clients the way you treat them; treat your team the way you want your clients treated. Train your staff to use every client contact as an information gathering exercise and to diligently record data into a CRM system, such as Salesforce CRM, in searchable and filterable fields for marketing and mail campaigns.
– Eric Edmeades, Entrepreneur at Kernerworks: @EricEdmeades
4. Pay attention.
A lot happens every day, so keeping up with all news worthy events that effect your clients is impossible. Google Alerts will send you notifications when information that interests you appears on the web about any of your clients’ personal or company happenings. A sample of events that may interest you: promotion, earning announcement, family member engagement or wedding, or a new product launch.
– Bob Shirilla, Owner at Simply Bags: @SimplyBags
5. Care for your customers.
Provide over the top and truly amazing customer support. It is a very simple maxim and is often overlooked. Treating your customers wonderfully pays dividends over the long run. Many companies view customer support as an expense to control. More companies should consider the privilege to provide service as an asset to invest in.
– J.P. Werlin, Cofounder at PipelineDeals: @JPWerlin
6. Be consistent.
Consumers live in a world of information equality and are able to instantly educate themselves via digital and social channels. This means that prospective customers can view the experiences of existing customers. Customer retention and loyalty is predicated on providing consistent service on the front end, but today’s marketing must be a two-way dialogue providing relevant and timely information.
– Daniel Wagstaff, Founding Partner at Pocketstop: @PocketStop
7. Say ‘Thank You’.
Say thank you in multiple ways — via email, social media, phone, formal receipt and handwritten note. The latter is crucial; in a world of electronic communication, everyone still loves to receive a hand-written thank you note.
– Jeremy Gregg, Executive Director at The PLAN Fund: @JeremyGregg
This article has been edited.
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