Ask any successful business owner which customers they value the most, and they’ll tell you it’s the ones that keep coming back to buy again.
Once a business has established its customer base, estimations are that somewhere between 60 to 80 percent of future business will come from that existing group of customers. So clearly, ensuring customer relationships are well maintained should be a top priority for any business.
In a world that is still coming to terms with COVID-19 – both for its human and economic impact – it has never been more important for businesses to take care of their existing customers.
As people across the globe have been, by necessity in a lock down at home to stem the spread of coronavirus and avoided the places they would carry out their usual transactions, many businesses have struggled. The usual way of meeting customers in a face-to-face setting has been drastically diminished and along with it, the intimacy that occurs in the trusted relationships that are built through delivering good customer service.
It’s been estimated that the cost of losing a customer is around ten times more expensive than acquiring a new customer. If you add to this the cost of reputational damage resulting from a customer experiencing poor service, the equation becomes even more ominous.
While the long-term impacts of the pandemic remain unknown, all indications are that economies will be dealing with the flow-on effects for another year at least. To survive in such an environment, businesses are going to have to adjust and find new and effective ways to connect with customers.
Building customer intimacy in the new global context comes through understanding your customer, and not simply through meeting them – and this is where improving your Customer Relationship Management system and ensuring a single customer view comes into play.
A CRM is more than just a database. Utilised properly, it can be a goldmine of information on your customer base that delivers business intelligence to help you strengthen those vital relationships with current customers – as long as you have the right tools to do the digging.
In a modern CRM system, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, even artificial intelligence applications, can be applied to your data to provide insights on how to cross-sell or upsell to your most loyal customers.
However, while your customer data is your most valuable asset, it still needs to be fit for purpose. A CRM with poor data quality renders it effectively worthless – so ensuring your data, including address validation (at the most basic level), must be a priority to make the most of a CRM investment.
If data is the new oil, as they say, then your organisation’s CRM needs a ‘refinery’ to ensure the quality of your data, and so enhance the value of your asset. Then, having a CRM system filled with good data will enable you to maintain and build better relationships with customers, because it bases them in reality.
A CRM system was already an important tool to help businesses remain competitive in the market prior to 2020. In a COVID-19 world, it is absolutely imperative for businesses to be using their CRM system effectively so that they not only survive, but thrive.