From our CRM Connect Magazine:
Our partner Peter of Azamba kindly shared his advice on powerful Customer Retention Tricks
Increase Customer Retention with These Simple Sage CRM Tricks
Landing a new customer can cost five to twenty-five times more than retaining an existing customer.
Good thing Sage CRM makes it so easy to stay connected with existing customers, keep them happy, and keep them coming back for more.
There are many strategies to improving customer retention. Let’s focus on three big ones:
- Watch for warning signs
- Be uniformly informed
- Communicate effectively and efficiently
WATCH FOR WARNING SIGNS
Ever call a customer and hear that they moved on and are working with a competitor? Or get a call ahead of time to let you know they are pulling up stakes with your team? Until they invent a crystal ball, Sage CRM is the next best thing.
The Sage CRM Dashboard is a powerful and easy to configure tool that allows you to view and analyse information in a single place. Your dashboard can provide an “Early Warning System” for your team to stave off a potential relationship ender with a customer. Imagine a dashboard with three key pieces:
- Customers being neglected. This could be customers who we haven’t spoken with in a few months or even in a few weeks for your A+ customers.
- Customers in “Support Crisis”. You can define Support Crisis specifically based on your business. One idea is a certain number of support issues that have piled up or maybe have remained unresolved for a considerable period.
- Customers with declining sales. This can be a simple look at Closed Opportunities for the last three months compared to the previous twelve months. Each of those dashboard elements could be tweaked or expanded to fit your needs. The goal is to create an easy to digest visual guide that helps you get on top o
BE UNIFORMLY INFORMED
Nothing worse than being given the run-around by vendors when you call with problems or simple inquiries. You want to make sure that doesn’t happen with your customers. You want your people to be informed across their team and across departments.
Sage CRM provides a strong, flexible way of tracking … pretty much everything. Everything you want to stay on top of, everything that matters to you, your team and to your customers.
A key piece of this is the way Communication records, such as Phone Calls, Tasks, Emails, Appointments, etc., are stored and tracked. Information gets entered once and is linked to other relevant records. This means wherever you go in the system, you’ll be able to get the information you need within one or two clicks.
Want to see all the Communication history for a particular customer, regardless of who on your team was involved? Pull up the Customer record, head to the Communications tab. Want to see all the history for a particular sales opportunity? Same thing as before. It’s all there at your fingertips so everyone on your team can stay up-to-date with what’s going on with the customers.
Even better, Sage CRM integrates tightly with most Sage accounting systems. So, in addition to the core sales and service information, you can pull up important accounting information.
When that customer calls or if you are reaching out to connect, you have full access to key information within your sales tool. No need to put them on hold. No need to go to the accounting software or ask the accounting team to assist. You and your people have everything they need at their fingertips to respond quickly, fully informed.
COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY
You’re staying on top of things with the Dashboard and you’re fully informed thanks to the accounting integration and the CRM data storage. Now you need to communicate effectively. Sage CRM allows you to slice-and-dice your records easily either with the primary search screens or by building a marketing list (aka a group).
Both methods are easily learned and are used by account management to communicate effectively and efficiently with the selected customers via defined actions such as:
- You can do a document merge to print labels and stuff envelopes.
- You can send out emails (pro-tip: you should use an emailer like Mail Chimp to control this process).
- You can schedule follow-up tasks for people or groups of people on your team.
A very common process is to create a list around key criteria – such as “all customers that own a specific product” – and then do a combination of all three of those actions to introduce a great complementary product to their existing product.
Send a postcard about the new product, send an email, schedule follow-up calls, send a follow-up email … rinse and repeat.
Another trick with effective communication is to look at the CRM Together Accelerator product which is indispensable if your people spend a lot of time in Outlook. Among other things, Accelerator tightly integrates Sage CRM with Outlook and will help your team reach the goal of communicating effectively and efficiently with customers.
NOW MAKE IT HAPPEN
These ideas are meant to be idea starters. Your business will have your own unique needs and you will want to tweak these suggestions to match those needs.
The key take-away is Sage CRM is a great tool for staying on top of things and improving customer retention. Many customers aren’t taking full advantage of the product capabilities.
It’s significantly cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find new ones so call your Sage partner and bounce around these ideas. Invest in your Sage CRM and watch your customer retention explode.