Today’s businesses can be so focused on chasing new leads and onboarding clients that existing customers can get overlooked. While business growth needs a pipeline of potential clients, customer retention is equally as important.

Nurturing your existing clients can be less time consuming than chasing new leads because you already know that they like what you do. Keeping that conversation flowing should be part of your regular sales strategy.

According to Gartner Group, 80% of future business revenue comes from just 20% of your existing customers and a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75%.

How a CRM system can help customer retention

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system is one of the best ways to maintain the dialogue with your existing customers. You already know a lot about them so using the tagging options on your CRM system, you can start to group your clients according to variables such as: what they bought, how often they buy, how often then open your marketing emails (or don’t) and how much they are willing to spend with you.

This means you can speak to a group of customers who you know are interested in your new product because they supported your last launch. Likewise, if you have a high ticket item, you can offer this first to those customers who you know are more likely to make the investment.

However, a CRM system is only as effective as the effort you put into it. Linking your CRM to your website and enabling automation will save you time as the information that you need to communicate to your customers is already in place.

Use your metrics

If you know a customer has bought a product that has a finite lifespan, doing something as simple as sending them an email reminding them to re-stock when they are due to run out is not just good business sense but great service. You are letting your customer know that you are thinking about them.

This can apply to any product or service when you understand who your customer is and what they want. Your sales metrics will give you this information; you just need to use your CRM system accordingly.

Equally, people like to feel rewarded for their loyalty. If you can see that a client has been supporting your business for a long period of time, offer them something which you are not offering to new customers.

Schedule time for your clients

It can be easy to overlook how much time and money a customer has spent with you. Those lovely follow-up emails don’t always take priority over new leads but by scheduling contact via your CRM system can remind you to nurture your existing client base. This becomes a habit and then part of your sales routine.

Taking the time to set up your CRM system according to your sales goals requires taking the time to get to know your customers. Understanding why they buy from you means you can build stronger relationships with them and benefit from their loyalty, incremental business and, all being well, referrals.