If you’re looking to boost brand loyalty this year, look no further than your customer list. How you interact with your customers strengthens or weakens their loyalty to your brand. To boost brand loyalty and retention rates, use your CRM system to listen as well as communicate with them.

Listening to Your Customers

If you think about the relationships in your personal life, you know that the key to a long-lasting and strong relationship with your children, spouse, parents, friends, or neighbors is to listen to them. Listening is an oft-neglected skill in these busy times. Most people listen not to understand, but in order to respond with something witty or helpful. Truly listening with your full attention to another person makes them feel wanted and needed, and helps you understand their perspective even more.

The same skills you might use to listen to the people you’re close to should be used with your customers, too. Far too often, companies send message after message, drowning their customers in sales flyers, marketing messages, order updates, and other forms of communications. How many truly listen to their customers? 

Using your CRM system to listen to your customers and respond to their needs is a great step to building strong customer relationships. These relationships lead to repeat business, which in turn fosters loyalty. It’s a “positive cycle” where a good action begets another good action until positive momentum is achieved.

Best Practices for Listening via CRM

There are several ways in which you can use your CRM as a “listening” tool to better connect with your customers.

  • Record all feedback and share it with your teams: That includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. Make sure you share both kudos and complaints. Customers who have been kind enough to leave a message or communicate with your company regarding their services or shopping experience should receive a personal message in reply. Make sure you acknowledge and thank people for taking the time to share feedback.
  • Surprise and delight customers with problems: A complaint or a customer service problem is an opportunity to forge long-term loyalty with customers. If the complaint is handled promptly and to the customer’s satisfaction, they are more likely to hold positive feelings about your company. A clothing retailer who responds to complaints about a sweater falling apart in the wash by sending a sweater free of charge to replace the defective one will garner praise rather than derision for the poor first garment. Steps taken quickly to rectify problems, and surprising and delighting customers by going the extra mile, are great ways to earn loyalty and demonstrate you have truly heard the customer’s side of the story.
  • Use social listening: Social listening means monitoring commentary on your company, products, and brand on one or more social media channels. Although it can be difficult to manage manually with multiple social media platforms, now there are services and software that can monitor social media for you to notice mentions of your brand. You can then follow up on the feedback and listen anonymously to what customers are saying about your brand.

The days when companies could simply sit back and rest on their reputations are long gone, if they ever existed in the first place. Companies today face challenges from a global marketplace vying for a pool of customers. To keep customers returning to your business, use the data in your CRM system to build loyalty and retention. It’s a smart and cost-effective way to keep your revenue and customer base solid while using other tactics to grow.

Is Your CRM Working for You?

Does your CRM have the functionality you need? Is it easy for your team to use? Infor CRM is a leading CRM system. Read more in the recent study by Nucleus Research, CRM Technology Value MatrixContact us or call 813-343-2173 for more information on CRM systems for your business.