Just like homes, strong businesses are built on solid foundations — except instead of steel-reinforced concrete walls and footings, entrepreneurs rely on ongoing positive customer experiences to protect their businesses from toppling.

Customer experience is the glue that holds everything together.
Business 2 Community

According to Business 2 Community, “Customer experience is the glue that holds everything together. It’s an all-encompassing, transformative aspect of your business and, at the end of the day, it has the most influence on how people feel about your company.”

Achieving a consistent positive customer experience, however, is often easier said than done, especially when businesses are forced to spend extensive time focused on tedious tasks. 32% of sales representatives spend at least an hour a day on manual data entry. Time spent on laborious tasks like this is time that could and should be devoted to enhancing customer experience.

The way to get around this time mismanagement is simple: Get all of your customer data in one place with an all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation platform. Your CRM stores all of your customer information, enabling you to segment your audience and access actionable data without hours of manual input. When combined with your marketing automation tools, you can provide tailored, personalized experiences for your customers, which makes them more likely to stick around and refer others.

Here are some of the most effective ways to take advantage of your all-in-one CRM throughout the customer lifecycle to boost customer satisfaction and retention:

1. Automate your follow-up for consistency

When leads enter your customer lifecycle, you get the special opportunity to build a relationship with them. As soon as you earn their contact information, it’s your responsibility to stay top-of-mind and continuously work to strengthen that relationship — a near impossible task when done manually or using disjointed systems.

According to Marketing Donut, you need five follow-up messages to close most sales, but 44% of businesses stop following up with leads after just one attempt. Dropping the ball on follow-up isn’t due to lack of effort in most cases – it’s because keeping track of leads becomes increasingly difficult as businesses grow.

By taking the time upfront to create funnels that automatically follow up with your leads, you are building a framework that ensures you’re moving leads through your cycle.

2. Send personalized targeted messages to your contacts

Even if it’s just through a hyper-targeted subject line in their email inbox, people like to feel recognized and cared about. According to Forbes, “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.”

This is where having your follow-up tied to a CRM tool comes into play. With most CRMs, you can add merge fields that pull from data you’ve collected to personalize your customer’s name, birthday or special interest automatically. You can also use your CRM to send targeted messages to segments within your list based on their known interests. It’s easy and makes a world of difference to your customer.

3. Keep track of your customers’ actions and inaction

Knowing where you stand with each of your customers and leads is essential for maintaining and boosting your business’s retention rates. Instead of anxiously waiting for churn, use your CRM’s tracked behavioral data to get a bird’s eye view of each contact’s actions or inaction so that you know when it’s time to step in.

Is your data showing that customers have been ignoring your emails, not buying from you, or not visiting any of your tracked pages lately? This could be a sign that they’re disengaged and about to leave. This is when you know it’s time to reach out, either by automated re-engagement funnels or by directly calling or emailing.

4. Retarget your customers with offers they’re already interested in

According to Spiralytics, only 2% of shoppers convert on their first visit to an online store. To prevent these hot leads from slipping through the cracks altogether, combine your CRM platform with social media and tracked links to present your leads with offers they’ve already shown interest in by creating a Facebook retargeting campaign.

Retargeting gives you the power to track site visitors who don’t take a desired action, such as filling out a form, requesting a consultation or purchasing a product, and continue to nurture them over time with Facebook ads.

5. Identify and acknowledge your top customers

Your top customers already love your brand, so why not take the time to identify and thank them? According to Bloomtools, 68% of people stop shopping with businesses because they feel that the company does not care about their patronage. Making the effort to strengthen that relationship will make customers feel good and open the door to opportunities for you.

Because CRM platforms keep all your customer data in one place, you can quickly and easily identify these top customers by comparing your contacts’ CLV (customer lifetime value), which is the amount they’ve spent with your company over time. Once you’ve identified these top customers, add them to a referral campaign that offers a reward for every new customer brought in.

About Lindsay Kent
Lindsay is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and holds a degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations and minors in Spanish and Integrated Marketing Communications. After working with several small businesses, Lindsay moved to sunny Santa Barbara to become Ontraport’s Content Manager.