In the battle to win and retain customers, one poor experience with your business can mean the loyalty and trust you’ve been building vanishes overnight.
If you can’t deliver a seamless, frictionless, and effortless customer experience (CX) that delights your customers and cultivates brand loyalty for life, they will quickly move on to your competition.
A recent study, based on a survey of 1,600 global sales and marketing professionals worldwide, found that customers are leaving at extraordinary rates, and most companies are ill-prepared to counter this trend in the rebound from the pandemic. Almost two-thirds (63%) of sales and marketing leaders agree that keeping existing customers is more cost-effective than closing a new sale, and 58% reported increased customer turnover in the last 12 months.
Below are four steps companies can take to cultivate customers for life and minimize great customer resignation.
1. Understand Why Your Customers Are Leaving
Despite the cost of churn, a staggering 51% of worldwide companies surveyed admit they do not understand the reasons for churn, and 57% struggle to quantify and track churn rates effectively.
Almost three-quarters (71%) of the respondents suspect customers are leaving due to poor customer service or experience. Likely, this is why 70% of the marketing and sales leaders said they need to do more to improve customer trust and why 73% underscored the need to act on customer feedback for improved customer service and experience.
The scary truth is most companies don’t even know they’ve lost a customer until they have moved on into the open arms of a competitor. Overcoming customer flight starts with knowing when customers are at risk of churn. Every customer interaction is a decisive moment for identifying the gaps between what customers expect and what they experience. Implementing CX processes and data collection to close this gap is critical to understanding the potential for churn and taking the right steps to improve retention.
2. Enhance Your Customer Data
The key challenge for many companies is having an incomplete view of customer activity. A unified view of sales, marketing, and service is critical to delivering an optimal CX, but the lack of data infrastructure is fueling a customer relations crisis. Even if organizations have the required information, many do not effectively share it across teams, leaving insights trapped in inefficient organizational silos.
Utilizing a shared CRM data platform and business intelligence system can provide actionable insights that sales, marketing, and service teams need to act decisively at every critical touchpoint throughout the customer journey.
3. Make Technology Easier to Use
Technology is supposed to make the hard things easier, but our survey suggests it is often too difficult to use, resulting in low adoption and wasted resources. A staggering 58% of the respondents report their CRM system is wasting time and money, while a massive 55%say their current CRM system cannot be adequately customized to meet their specific needs. CRM struggles are the highest in Australia, compared to 46% of US respondents and 56% of respondents in the UK.
So, if you use a CRM, make sure it is accessible and easy for you and your team to use daily to update, expand, capture, and share customer information. This will provide a better context for teams to take action earlier and allows for personalizing interactions and optimizing experiences to boost revenue.
4. Leverage AI to Turbocharge Customer Experience
Innovations in AI mean businesses no longer have to look in the rearview mirror when it comes to their data. Instead, they can now look into the future to understand emerging trends and spot actionable insights earlier.
And with more data available—especially from digital channels—AI can enable better customer experiences, personalized engagement, accurate predictions, and better decision making. AI and CRM are a natural pairing; deploying AI takes advantage of your existing CRM data by transforming it into useful information that improves decision-making and predicts customer needs.
The time to improve customer retention is now! Leverage your data and AI to enhance operational efficiency and deepen your understanding of customers’ needs and preferences. Once you prioritize that, you can enhance CX, transcend great customer resignation, and build customers for life.
This blog post is based on an article initially published on Kochie’s Business Builders.