Building customer loyalty

A special message from Jorgan teucH, CXO of Aweall Corp.None of us want to lose customers, and enough surveys have proven to us that customers don’t mind spending a little more, purchasing again and again, and spreading the word if customer service exceeds our expectations. Of course, we need a way to find out more about our customers to develop that loyalty and advocacy, and therefore we need to construct a comprehensive, relevant, and accurate profile for each of our buyers.

Nowadays we call it Customer Relationship Management, which is a general term to describe a system that helps us track a customer’s purchase history, concerns, inquiries, product requirements, contact details, and even credit terms used in the past. When a customer calls, it is a powerful tool to be able to quickly scan a buyer’s past history and speak with a customer already knowing their relevant details; what they have purchased in the past. When you know that Mrs. Cobblestone already owns three pairs of Manolo Blatnik designer shoes, and a new Jeweled Satin Pump has arrived in your store, wouldn’t it be an excellent way to inspire customer confidence and make that person feel closer to your business? Who doesn’t like feeling like a partner when it is all about catering to your needs? What shoe enthusiast doesn’t appreciate a “heads up” on a fabulous new product?

Customer Relationship Management isn’t necessarily all about software either. Admittedly it is a business strategy to help generate new business and business leads so that we can turn these people into customers, but we want to keep them as customers. We do need to be careful though. Whereas the CRM system is geared to help us track customers for the ultimate purpose of zooming in on those who most likely will be the most profitable in the future, we will also see which customers aren’t spending much. Are they worth more time for us to cultivate, or do we leave them in the dust in favor of the customers who provide us with the most business?

Many of us lack the organizational skills to keep all of this data, but for small businesses, most of us can do without CRM software. We can keep track of our customers; we can email newsletters, send out hand written thank-you notes, and send out birthday greetings. We can even include the “not so often buyers” in our mailings and our marketing plans. As our business grows, a CRM system most likely will become more important.

The CRM software is readily available, and it isn’t just about making customer information handy. Good systems can help with day-to-day reports, watch sales trends, marketing, keep track of complaints, and track profit and loss which can improve customer relationships while increasing satisfaction and good-will.

photo credit: Torley