Tag Archives: Customer relationship management

February Plan to Better Marketing: Rekindling Lost Relationships

Last month, we posted an annual plan to better marketing and I wanted to flush out some of these ideas further. So let’s look at ways to reignite relationships with past customers and contacts so your business continues to feel the love and thrive.

February Plan to Better Marketing: Rekindling Lost Relationships

The first step is to identify customers with whom you want to re-establish contact. Go through your CRM and/or old sales pipelines and identify customers that stopped returning or fell out of the funnel.

Next, you’ll want to plan the channel to best reach them: email, direct mail, phone call, social? Regardless of the channel be sure to personalize your message and experiment with several different channels to test their performance. Simple planning and tracking now can save you time and money in the long run so you’re not re-inventing the wheel in the future.

Now that you know who you’re targeting and how you’re reaching them, let’s look at what you’re going to say to get them back.

Ask

Oftentimes, customers just need to be reminded of their relationship with your business and a targeted, personalized phone call, email or direct mail campaign admitting you miss them and asking them to return may be all it takes. If you’re doing an email campaign, trigger a “good to see you again” or “welcome back” message if they click through the initial message to make sure they know you appreciate their business.

If you’re not sure why customers are falling out of the pipeline, ask them to fill out a survey which will serve as a reminder as well as help you gain insights of where you can improve.

Inform

If you’ve been making improvements to customer experiences or products that have been reducing your churn rate, let your past customers know, since those improvements may have been solving the problems that kept them from returning in the first place. “You Asked. We Listened” can be a powerful message to bring back old customers. Just be sure you deliver on your new promise by keeping expectations realistic or risk losing them forever.

Entice

An exclusive discount throughout your store or better yet, on a specific accessory that pairs well with a past purchase, is a great way to bring customers back into the fold. Consider also that, based on your business, a warranty or access to service personnel may be seen as more valuable than a simple discount. Test several different offers and see which gets you the most returns.

You know your business and your customers and by asking, informing and enticing them to return, you may have the best year yet.

Next month: Following Up Like A Lion

Image: Photospin

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How CRM Software Can Increase Productivity and Profits

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Naturally, small businesses tend to have their sights set on one thing and one thing only: generating revenue. But often this comes at the cost of letting other areas of their business slide—namely, organization.

Organization is the key to running a successful business, and by taking some time out of every day to do some simple administrative tasks, planning and arrangement, you’d be surprised at how quickly your company’s efficiency, productivity, and—most importantly—profits, could increase.

But the question is: How do businesses go about improving their organization skills? The answer is simple, but it may not be the first thing that springs to mind. Most people think of Client Relationship Management (CRM) software as a way of improving sales, but what they may not know is that it could prove to be an invaluable tool to boost your company’s productivity, sales tracking and internal collaboration, by streamlining all your communications into one database.

Still not sold? Well, if you’re not ready to upgrade that trusty spreadsheet just yet, here are five benefits that CRM software can offer your business that may just change your mind.

1. Better customer relations

Using a CRM often leads to greater customer satisfaction. All communications—whether they’re from marketing, sales or accounts departments—can be handled in a systematic manner. You’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers’ wants, needs and preferences, which in turn will help increase customer loyalty and decrease customer dissatisfaction. And what’s more is that as a byproduct, you’ll find that your buyers will share their positive stories about your company with their friends and family members—and as any business will know, word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising for any business.

2. Increased revenues

So we know that putting a CRM system in place improves customer relationships, but did you know that it could also lead to an increase in revenue? Using the data you collect, you will be able to target certain products to your customers more strategically, meaning your efforts will be more effective. With the help of customer relation management software, you can create targeted promotions to specific segments within your client base, thus encouraging more sales, and in turn, an uptick in profits. Which leads us to our third benefit…marketing.

3. Easier marketing

CRM can help you understand who’s purchased what and how much they spent when they purchased it—essential data when it comes to launching an effective marketing campaign as it allows you to pinpoint the right potential buyers. Without CRM, this is a near-impossible task—your marketing department would have to go back over old invoices and PO’s to manually track this information and pull their target buyers’ contact details. With CRM, you can segment your customer database by a number of criterion to help you refine your marketing message and ensure it reaches the right people.

4. Efficient upselling and cross-selling

Often businesses spend a great deal of time and money trying to acquire brand new customers— so much so that they neglect to pay proper attention to their best source of revenue: their existing customer base. A CRM system not only facilitates upselling, but it also allows easy cross-selling—the practice of suggesting related products or services to a customer based on their previous purchases. In order to do this, salespeople need a good idea of their customers’ requirements and buying patterns, and CRM software provides just this. Any details about your clients are stored in a central database accessible by all members of your organization, meaning that when an opportunity arises, staff can cross-promote products to customers, and as a consequence, maximize sales.

5. Improved in-house communication

A central database of all your company’s valuable customer information doesn’t just help with external communication—it improves internal communication, too. Sharing important customer data between various divisions of your company encourages teamwork—which is a much better strategy for business than operating as a lone-ranger. Not only will it enable a higher standard of service, but it’ll also increase your company’s profitability.

Before you implement a CRM system (and ideally, before you even select one), be sure to do plenty of research and preparation. Begin by thinking strategically about your company’s mission and goals, and how you will measure your progress. Then start to think strategically about your customer segments and what you are doing with each of these constituents—this will help you define what information needs to be stored in your CRM system, what types of functionalities it will need to have, and what sort of processes people within your organization will need to carry out when using the system.

Remember: CRM is a dynamic application than can be used by more or less everyone in your company, and when used to its full effect, can hold vast amounts of data to create a pool of valuable information that can be used to prospect new business, identify leads, define customer segments, and much more. So, now are you ready to ditch that old spreadsheet?

 If you’re thinking of implementing a CRM system, check out Insightly and sign up for a free account.