Find your customers, understand your customers, nurture your customers and retain your customers. Profitably.
Our CRM expertise is built from working with some of the world’s largest retailers, and their customer loyalty data, for 16+ years. We started from scratch, and built, tested, iterated, re-tested, improved, triggered and automated their customer lifecycle programmes. All this is integral to helping our clients achieve their ambitious growth targets year on year. Every year.
With your CRM tools in great shape you’re able to deliver an effective customer lifetime management (CLM) programme.
Time, resource and cost are all part of acquiring new customers. And new customers are essential to business growth. But only if the customer pipeline leads to finding more new and valuable customers. You need to nurture new customers to develop them into your repeat, and profitable, shoppers. As you grow your understanding of your new customers’ behaviours, you’ll also improve your ability to serve them well. Therefore directly improving the customer relationship and your CRM expertise as a result.
Do you have a single source of first-party customer data, stored in a centralised location? Data relating to customer information, shopping and browsing behaviour, GDPR preferences etc.
And are you content rich?
If so, you are in the perfect position to build profitable CRM programmes.
Through understanding your data, customer insights and content we can help you design your CRM strategy. Then build your customer lifecycle programme with our tried and tested personalisation tools.
You are not alone. Even some of the biggest and best companies need help. First, and most importantly, we’ll get your data in usable shape. Check out our data cleansing expertise, and best-in-class data handling creds here. We resolve any issues with your existing data. And assisted machine learning algorithms make sure incoming data is also as you need it.
Once your data in great shape, what’s the next step? We have the right tools to help you segment and personalise as part of your CLM strategy. And so use your data to target the right messages, to the right customers and you’ll improve all engagement metrics.
You need a repository to capture all your customer data, contact information, insights, customer experiences, sales, contact centre calls and the like. This data will then help reveal important information on customer behaviour, preferences and which marketing messages drive the best responses.
Ideally, your data and CRM tool are connected. This allows you to turn customer insights into segmented or personalised communications. Smaller businesses need to tailor their marketing as much as possible and link it to key channels to reach customers.
The tool you use should allow you to test, learn, iterate, and repeat. It gives you the ability to evaluate your communications, channels, and customer interactions. Then, you can learn about your audience, adjust your communications, and improve your sales results.
Find patterns in your data to help you understand your target audience. When you see trends, you'll discover new ways to talk to people with shared interests. Understanding these trends and customer preferences means you can target people who are more likely to become your new customers. As your data and knowledge grows, you’ll understand your customers’ behaviour and be better placed to improve your customer loyalty.
Your CRM programme makes customer lifecycle management (CLM) more efficient and effective. Split and multi-variant testing, and personalisation are possible when you set up your programme for automation. All learnings feed back into your single view of your customers and are used to incrementally improve your programmes.
We all know first impressions count.
As part of your CLM strategy, it's important to have a personalised, automated first-time customer welcome programme.
When you understand your current first-time customers you can search for new 'look-alike' customers through your marketing channel mix. Other proven customer acquisition tactics include; first-time customer incentives, content and social marketing, and friend-get-friend programmes to name a few.
Depending on how you are set up you may need a welcome programme for customers who:
1. Sign up for info/newsletter
2. Are registered but not ordered customers (RNO)
3. Register with their first order
Your welcome email is the first contact and, understandably, these customer journeys need to be different. This important welcome message is your opportunity to leave customers with a positive impression of you. And so encourage further engagement with your business. Such as downloading an app, rating their purchase, socially sharing their purchase or providing further information on their purchase preferences. All are opportunities to make a great first impression, find out more of what your customers want from your business, and help you understand those needs.
Understanding your most sticky and profitable customers helps you refine your acquisition targeting activities. Consequently reducing costs and improving return on investment on future activities.
Acquiring your new customer is only the start or your CLM programme. Your first sale is not only the most costly, but often the most fragile. We all know that brand loyalty is, at best, waning and, at worst, non-existent.
Use your data to understand the attributes and journeys of your current most profitable, longer-term customers. Your aim is to move new customers through your conversion programme, into your retention programme. Your retention programme's aim is to look after your valued, profitable longer-term shoppers.
To help build your conversion programme, first define your threshold attributes of regular shoppers for your retention programme:
Once you have defined when a customer is more likely to be retained you can design your conversion programme.
It may be as simple as completed X shops in Y months, or, have other key attributes.
You need this information to build the programme to convert your new customer, through your conversion programme, into your valuable retained customer.
Next, build and automate your programme. Monitor the results and learn through continually testing and improving. Then you will see your conversion numbers increase.
Is an often under-invested part of the CLM programme.
And of course your competitors will be targeting your shoppers with their products or services.
As mentioned above, true brand loyalty is rare, but you still need your brand advocates. You've worked hard to find new customers and nurture them to become your seasoned shoppers. So how do you keep your brand name at the front of customers' minds when they're thinking about their next purchase?
This is where your timely, tailored, retention comms come into play.
If your company belongs to a large loyalty programme scheme, such as Nectar or Avios (AirMiles), great. You're part of a bigger programme with established customer value and so able to leverage your business through their ongoing comms.
If not, or supplementary to their programme, you can devise your own retention programme specific to your customers.
Not all of your retention customers will offer the same commercial opportunity. Consider developing an aspirational programme for the top, say, 20% VIPs. Often this top 20% is responsible for delivering up to 80% of your sales. This helps you focus your marketing attention and budget.
Deliver engaging, useful, interesting or fun content so your audience keeps on enjoying their VIP status. You can also make your business front of mind with: competitions, surveys, drip-fed incentives, special VIP customer perks, previews, early access to sales, special events and a host of other activities.
Remember, peer-to-peer recommendation is the strongest, and most trusted form of marketing. Neglect the importance of looking after your brand advocates at your peril.
Even with the best retention programme there will always be some natural lapsing or 'churn' from your programme. Customers will lapse from any stage along your CLM programme. You need to monitor and reduce this as much as possible, paying special attention to your VIP retention customers.
Depending on your expected customer purchase frequency, identifying pre-lapsing behaviour may be difficult.
It is easier to identify when a seasoned shopper is likely lapse, than a nursery customer, whose purchase frequency is yet unknown.
This is where examining your data helps you to identify pre-lapsing warning signs. For example, you have noticed a customer who contacts your careline on three separate occasions is more likely to lapse. Intervening before the lapse potentially happens, with a call from your customer care team, could be just the ticket to prevent the lapse. Be it an apology call, an offer of free product or delivery, or any other action you have tried and tested.
The best way to find out why is to ask the customer. First-hand customer feedback gathered by online, telephone, quantitative or qualitative surveys, is invaluable. Feedback is a gift. The information gathered could range from a change in personal circumstances, to dissatisfaction with your product or service. Not to mention a whole host of reasons in between.
The customer is king, and this data will help you understand where to focus your improvement efforts. Being proactive in this way gives you a reason to contact the customer again. To let them know you have listened and positively reacted to their feedback to improve your offering. This behaviour is not only great to improve your offering but also a powerful reactivation mechanic.
Getting dissatisfied customers back is never easy. But it is easier to understand which mechanic to use when you know the reason(s) for lapsing. And then you can tailor your reactivation programme accordingly.
Other reactivation mechanics include incentives, free product or trial, information on upgrades or new news, invitations to new product launches or events. Trial various appropriate mechanics and measure their success (or failure) to feed into improving your programmes.
You need to respect your customers by not over-communicating. It increases the risk of customers unsubscribing from your business and reduces your potential customer communication pool.
Automating not only the programme, but also some rules to respect your customers, will bring you better long-term results. It will also free up your marketing team to improve the strategic marketing activities for your business.
Control cells to measure the effectiveness of your test and learn activities, are essential.