Find your customers, understand your customers, nurture your customers and retain your customers. Profitably.
Our CRM expertise was 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 CRM programmes. This was integral to helping our clients achieve their ambitious growth targets year on year. Every year.
Time, resource and cost are all part of acquiring new customers. New customers are essential to business growth. But only if the customer pipeline leads to finding more new, valuable customers. You need to nurture new customers to develop them into your repeat, and profitable, shoppers. As you grow your understanding of their behaviours, you’ll also improve your ability to serve them well. Directly improving the customer relationship 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 in coming data is also as you need it.
With your data in great shape, what’s the next step? We have the right tools help you segment and personalise as part of your CRM strategy. Use data to target the right messages, to the right customers and you’ll improve all engagement metrics.
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 more likely to become new customers. As your data and knowledge grows, you’ll understand your customers’ behaviour and be better able 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 the 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.
Depending on how you are set up you may need a welcome programme for customers who:
1. Sign up for info/newsletter
2. Are register but not ordered customers (RNO)
2. Register with their first order
Your welcome email is the first contact and, understandably, these customer journeys need to be different. This important message is your opportunity to leave customers with a positive impression and 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 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. 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:
- Is there a particular customer demographic more likely to become your best shoppers?
- How many purchases need to be made?
- Over what period of time?
- Is there a spend level, or product, or service mix that needs to be achieved?
- Are the best shoppers new product/service adopters or not?
- Do they come via specific channels e.g. social media or app usage?
- Are there any other identifiable traits?
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.
Using this information:
- How are you going to encourage your new customers to move through the programme?
- What are the logical follow-on or complementary purchases from the initial sale?
- What information, assets, incentives do you have or can you create?
- How can you reach the customer?
- Which messages work best over which channels? etc.,
All information needed to build the programme to convert your new customer into a valuable retained customer.
Build and automate your programme. Monitor the results and learn through continually testing and improving your 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 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 to the front of customers' minds when they are thinking about their next purchase?
This is where your timely tailored retention communications 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 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%. Often this top 20% is responsible for delivering up to 80% of your sales. This can help you focus your marketing attention and budget.
Deliver engaging useful, interesting or fun content so your audience keep enjoying their VIP status. You can also keep 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 valuable 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 may lapse, than a nursery customer, whose purchase frequency is unknown.
This is where examining your data may help 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.
When a customer has lapsed the only way to find out why is to ask the customer. First-hand customer information 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 range 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. 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 understand the reason(s) for lapsing. And you can tailor your 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 back into improving your programmes going forward.
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 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.