In many industries, retaining customers can be as much of a battle as bringing new ones in the door. Obstacles like increasing industry competition are decreasing brand loyalty, meaning that brands that rely upon longer-term customer retention may be struggling.
This is particularly true for financial services, such as banks or insurance companies - given the growing influence of comparison sites and smart-switching advisory tools.
Our number one retention tip for brands, financial services or otherwise, is to invest in the proper implementation of a CRM. In this article, we will go through the top ways that a CRM can noticeably improve your retention capabilities, including data segmentation, automation and intelligent reporting.
1. Segment your data
A common frustration behind customers switching brand loyalties is feeling as though the communications received are not speaking to their individual needs and concerns. The simple solution to this lies in the segmentation of your customer database. The capabilities that a CRM, for example Salesforce, provides on this front are substantial.
A CRM will allow you to segment your customers based on their ‘newness’ as a customer, the services/products they rely on you for and the kind of content that has engaged them in the past. From there, you can send tailored communication - whether that’s variations of messaging, frequency or even communication platform - that are far more likely to resonate on an individual customer basis.
Take the example of the financial services industry… More often than not, customers are trusting you with highly sensitive data and, of course, their hard-earned money. Staying loyal to a bank, insurance company or wealth management provider will be influenced by how much an individual trusts their provider to meet their needs. The right communication is key to this, and that means communication tailored to them.
2. Use automation
One of the biggest ways that a properly implemented CRM will impact the operations of your company is as a time-saving mechanism. Processes that may have been manual and time-intensive for decades can now become automated, requiring just the click of a button.
Automation is hugely valuable for improving the quality and reception of your communications. With a smartly set-up CRM, you can automate communications in a number of different ways:
Reactive to customer actions - setting up flows that are triggered by customers performing a specific action means that you are able to be much more responsive than if you had to manually react in real-time. For example, were a customer to perform a certain action on your website, visit a certain page or submit a certain form, your CRM will immediately send them an appropriate response.
- Based on learned customer behaviours - once your CRM has been set-up and has been able to gather sufficient learnings on the behaviour of specific segments (or even individual customers), it will be able to use that information to automatically communicate with them in the best possible way. That may include timing email send-outs to the times of day that they’re more likely to open a message, or switching communication channels/methods to ones they’ve engaged with in the past. Doing so means that your communications are more likely to be effective, showing how automation not only saves you time but it makes your processes more impactful.
Getting the right message to the right people at the right time - especially if a customer is performing a specific action - could be the make or break factor determining whether or not they take their custom elsewhere.
3. Intelligent reporting
Intelligent reporting enables you to spot trends and issues much quicker, as it enables you to set up custom reports that are unique to your business and the metrics that demonstrate customer loyalty to you. The benefit of this on retaining customers is that it allows you to identify when a customer is at risk of leaving and then act more proactively to prevent them from doing so.
For example, were you to notice trends of customers who subscribe to a particular service expressing intent to leave, that would be a clear red flag that there are issues within that service that need to be addressed - either with how it’s executed or how it’s communicated. Without the customisation capabilities of intelligent reporting through a CRM, you may never have been able to spot trends so granularly within your data.
One financial company that has seen first-hand the importance of setting up smart reporting is Monizze, publisher of meal, eco and gift vouchers. Monizze turned to 4C for assistance in augmenting their technical stack through a Salesforce multi-cloud implementation, to synchronise their data and processes in order to scale for growth.
“We have a reputation for the best quality of service in our market. We wanted to keep that reputation as we grew.” Said, Jean-Louis Van Houwe, Founder and CEO of Monizze. “Thanks to these new solutions, we now have integrated tools that give us full visibility on all our stakeholders; card holders, affiliates and retailers.”
Not having a CRM that is fine-tuned to your business’s needs is almost guaranteed to be costing you existing customers, whether that’s because you don’t quite have the full picture of what’s working or you’re not able to customise communications to individual requirements.
Not sure where to start? Here at 4C, we are the experts in finding the right solution for the proper implementation of CRMs and other digital solutions. Contact the team today and speak to specialists in your industry, from financial services to manufacturing.