The goal of most CRM implementations is to loyalize and monetize customer relationships. In other words, the more you can deepen and strengthen relationships with your customers, the better your sales opportunities. To enhance customer relationships, custom-tailored communications strategies are used and tracked through a robust CRM database. The result is customer-centric communications that power today’s CRM.

But if loyalty is the goal of CRM, defining loyalty must be front and center. You can’t achieve a goal you can’t define.

Customer Loyalty Defined

Each company defines customer loyalty differently. Much depends on your company’s sales cycle. A wedding planner defines loyalty by how many referrals a bride provides to her business (which demonstrates a job well done and a satisfied client), while a supermarket chain seeks weekly transactions to demonstrate brand loyalty. Loyalty is important to both businesses, yet defined differently based on the industry.

As a first step, define customer loyalty based on your industry. Ask yourself: 

  • How do we define loyalty?
  • What is a reasonable expectation of return visits? Sales?
  • What is this expectation based upon?

Ways to Cultivate Customer Loyalty

There are several ways in which your business can cultivate customer loyalty. Loyalty is based upon satisfaction. Satisfied customers are repeat customers. If you cannot fulfill the basic promise or premise of your brand, customers will take their business elsewhere. 

Businesses often struggle with common situations that lead to shaky customer loyalty: 

  • Popular products frequently out of stock
  • Delayed shipments
  • Poor communications with customers about their order status
  • Incorrect merchandise shipped
  • Dissatisfied customers or customer complaints handled inappropriately
  • Misrepresentation in marketing communications (overhyped benefits) 

If you look over the list above, you’ll notice one important thing: every point is something that can be addressed within your business by improvements in products, processes, data, and communications. In other words, customer loyalty is within your power to influence. 

Using Your CRM System to Build Loyalty 

Your CRM system can be an integral component of a loyalty campaign. When your CRM is integrated with other business systems, you can: 

  • Provide customers with timely and accurate order status.
  • Answer questions about orders and shipments no matter which department customers reach when they call.
  • Send tailored communications at regular intervals that speak directly to a customer’s wants, needs, and desires.
  • Track problems, resolution times, and service issues. 

Other data that can help you improve customer relationships may be derived from a combination of order and shipment data, customer service data, and sales data. Together, this creates a good baseline picture of how well your company is doing to engender loyalty among your customers. 

Measuring Loyalty 

After you’ve defined what loyalty means to your business, you can delve into the metrics of your business transactions and view past performance data to assess current loyalty. If you define loyalty as two transactions per quarter, you can visit your sales dashboard and confirm which percent of customers are making two or more transactions per quarter. You can then tag the data and plan strategies to boost loyalty among those who haven’t ordered from you within that quarter. 

Before rushing to send marketing communications to those customers, you may want to call a few and ask questions about their satisfaction with their last order. Such an approach is softer and more personal than mass communications, and can unveil potential problems that customers may have been reluctant to address with your sales team. 

CRMPlus: CRM Systems to Help You Acquire, Retain, and Develop Loyal Customers 

CRMPlus Consulting is a small boutique firm specializing in the art of customer management. We work with clients to ensure their CRM selection and implementation achieves their goals. To learn more about our approach and the solutions we offer, download our CRM Success Kit today or call us at 813-343-2173.

CRM System

Every company wants a full pipeline of qualified leads in their CRM system. When you fill your lead funnel or pipeline, you always have qualified customers moving along to a successful sale. But how do you generate leads for your CRM system?

Companies typically put in place a consistent process for attracting qualified customers. Some of the techniques may vary, but you can adapt this process to fit your company’s needs.

Creating a Pipeline of Leads

Add an opt-in form to your website: Create a landing page with a lead capture form for your website. This makes it easy for people to choose to receive emails from your company and to respond to any offers or pitches made as part of your lead generation activities. Be sure to include opt-in language so that people understand they are giving permission to be contacted by your company. This helps you comply with the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Act, laws intended to protect against unwanted emails.

Develop a free whitepaper, e-book, or other enticing content: Many companies offer unique and highly valuable content in exchange for customers opting into their email list. This works best if the content offered directly benefits your customers and is only available if they opt into your list.

Promote the offer online: Promote the offer via your social media sites, online advertising, and a link from your email signature.

Ask current customers for recommendations: Offer the same paper or give-away item to your current customers list, and invite them to share it with colleagues and friends.

Request guest posts: Guest blog posts with a link to your website builds traffic. Close your guest blog post with an offer for the free paper and link to the opt-in form. To get a guest blog post published, find websites that reach your customer base and email the webmaster with an idea for a free blog post. Then, write the post, or hire a ghostwriter to write it for you.

Collect cards and contacts: At your next networking event, trade show, or other industry event, collect business cards and ask permission to add them to your database. Drawings for enticing prizes at trade shows can help you collect even more business cards.

To assess the success of your lead generation activities, monitor the number of contacts on your database before, during, and after the campaign ends. Also check your open rates on subsequent marketing emails and lead nurturing campaigns to view the effectiveness of your marketing messages.

If you’ve focused your lead generation efforts on customers who fit your target demographic profile, you’ve successfully filled your CRM system with viable leads. The next step is to continue the lead nurturing sequence, using your CRM system effectively to communicate with customers along every step of their buying journey. Thankfully, your CRM system makes this much easier by automating a great deal of the work.

CRMPlus Consulting

CRMPlus Consulting helps companies find the “right size” CRM system for their needs. By working with you to find a great solution, we match you with the best software to help your company achieve its sales goal. Visit usor call 813-343-2173.