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Customers need more than a good product to sway them towards one brand or another. The field is getting more and more competitive by the day and the difference in quality is becoming harder to discern. As a result, companies need to find ways to stand out from the pack to acquiring new customers and, more importantly, retain loyal customers. And personalization is the best way to do it.

But how can you personalize your customer experience enough to make an impact? With a CRM software, you’ll be able to significantly improve the customer experience by personalizing the funnel, from discovery to sale. Take a look at the guide below to get a better idea of how CRM software works and how it can ramp up your customer retention strategy through personalization. 

What Is CRM?

First off, if you don’t know what  CRM is, we should probably start there. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a digital business resource used to facilitate a more streamlined, and automated process for customer relationships. 

With features like contact management, sales analytics, and financial forecasting, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of how your customers proceed through your funnel, and how you can optimize that process to improve your bottom line.

CRM & Personalization

So what does that have to do with personalization? CRM software allows you to specifically track individual customers, giving you meaningful insights into how they shop, why they shop, and where they are in the shopping process. 

Additionally, thanks to this level of detail, CRM software allows you to automate a wide range of features that can help you personalize the customer experience. From emails with customer names on them to recommendation pages, giving customers what they want is a recipe for success.

Taking a Customer-Centric Approach

With 80% of customers being more likely to make a purchase from a company offering a personalized experience, and similarly 72% stating they only engage with marketing messages that are customized to their specific interests, the value of a customer-centric approach to your business strategy is undeniable. 

With CRM software, the goal is to make each customer the beneficiary of targeted efforts to make the purchasing experience that much more efficient and enjoyable. After all, abandoned shopping carts and recommendation-less websites are never good for conversions. 

Rewarding Loyal Customers

Outside of personalization, CRM software is ideal for customer retention, and there’s no better way to retain customers than by rewarding the loyal ones. This can come in many forms, from referral rewards that provide discounts to customers that spread the word to friends and family, to loyalty point programs that encourage multiple purchases.

Generally speaking, appreciating your customers is an incredibly helpful means of attracting customers. In fact, 30% of consumers are switch providers because they feel that there is no reward for loyalty, so you might want to start showing appreciation before it’s too late.

Special Offers

Another great way of rewarding loyal customers is by providing special offers throughout your website. Whether it be an exclusive sale for repeat customers or a coupon code for newsletter subscribers, there’s no denying the power of a special deal when it comes to retaining loyal customers.

Personalized Content

Personalization isn’t just about improving your sales funnel for employees. By utilizing CRM software, you’ll also be able to tap into a wide range of data and insights from your customers to provide catered content that can drive sales.

Personalized content can include information and reviews about products they’ve been recently viewing, emails informing them of upcoming discounts and deals, and abandoned cart emails. 

Personalizing Emails

Considering email marketing is still considering the most effective means of retaining customers, it’s safe to say that a little personalization could go a long way in bolstering your efforts. 

Email personalization goes a lot further than just adding customer’s names. Through careful targeting, you can turn your email marketing into an analytics-driven tool for making sales. Whether it’s by age, location, purchasing history, or any of the other metrics measured by CRM, you can make sure your customers are getting access to content that they want to see, such as special offers, new/ similar products in stock, and customer testimonials. 

Social CRM

As you must realize by now, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are powerful tools in building customer loyalty. Whether you’re posting content to draw them in or providing insights into new products on your timeline, social media can help you attract, retain, and foster customer relationships. But how can CRM help you tap into these helpful platforms?

Social Integration

The idea of trying to run CRM software while managing your many social media accounts may already be stressing you out. Fortunately, most CRM softwares offer social media integrations with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and  LinkedIn, so you can manage everything from a single hub. You’ll be able to respond to users seeking customer support, keep track of what customers are saying, and even post content to attract new customers and retain loyal ones.

Amy Stamper, Paid Social and Display Specialist at digital marketing agency Impression commented: we run various lead generation campaigns across LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads – when a user downloads our latest whitepaper or guide they are imported directly into our CRM and we follow up with the resource and a bespoke sequence of emails, as well as adding opted-in users to our newsletters.

It also works the other way around. We’ve set up audiences within Facebook Ads to automatically import new contacts in our CRM – so we know who to exclude in prospecting campaigns, or which qualified leads we can re-target in our remarketing campaigns.

Similarly, Elliot Davidson, founder of Contrast said: We use the integration between HubSpot and Linkedin as it gives us the opportunity to keep close tabs on what prospects are doing. It also makes keeping in contact easier, as we are able to contact them through HubSpot and have the ability to make it personal. Within the LinkedIn Sales Navigator we are able to easily filter through companies in the database to get in touch with the right people with all the right context easily with the InMail feature.

Best-Practice Data Input

All these improved strategies and updated processes probably sound like a lot of work, arguably too much work for a team on a budget. Fortunately, that’s where CRM really shines.

Using Automation

The primary benefit of CRM software is automation. Research has demonstrated that the average employee spends 3-4 hours each day on administrative tasks. CRM software can help reduce laborious admin tasks.

CRM automates day-to-day operations and personalization efforts, such as automatically inputting customer data, bringing up historical data on clients, and showing their sales history. Without CRM, teams may find themselves continually updating and formatting spreadsheets which quickly become disorganized. CRM systems organize the data for you and provide a more robust, impressive customer experience without adding a bunch of work to your team.

Most notably, automation is helpful when it comes to analytics. Rather than spending hours on data input, all your sales, conversion, and lead reports will be created and aggregated automatically. You’ll have all the information you need and then some to make informed decisions on what’s working with your business and what’s not.

Overall, the benefits of using CRM are plentiful and as your business grows, a centralized system to store customer data, information and purchase history becomes crucial. A CRM system is not only useful to your sales team and account managers in personalizing and improving the customer experience, it can also provide your marketing team with data that can inform their marketing strategy and grow your business.

Head to our Marketing Blog Category to know more and stay updated with the latest news in the world of marketing. 

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Conor CawleyConor CawleyConor Cawley is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last four years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion.View all posts by Conor Cawley