Opinion: A detailed guide on how CRM can change your D2C Business forever…

CRM for D2C

Pranav Ahuja of Xeno speaks about the need to retain customers and build relationships with them in the rapidly rising D2C brands space and how CRM help in this.

Today, when shoppers have hundreds of options to choose from, it becomes increasingly difficult for retailers to retain their customers.

The probability of selling a product to a new customer stays at a low of 5-20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.

Many studies have also shown that acquiring new customers is almost five times more expensive than retaining an existing customer.

So, why not work on retaining old customers while you strive to attract new ones?

There can be hundreds of ways that a D2C brand can adapt to make the customers stay – a great loyalty program, personalized customer experience, better customer service, contribution to the customer’s well-being, and whatnot! But, it is easier said than done.

With the rise of social media, digital marketing, omnichannel strategy, and online shopping, it is much easier for customers to find new brands and experience various product options. As a result, the need to retain customers and build relationships with them is rising rapidly for D2C brands. Let us look into it closely.

Why do you need to strengthen your customer relationships as a D2C brand?

  • Customers have hundreds of options today

I have seen D2C brands fighting fierce competition these days. This competition is not just with other D2C brands but also with eCommerce websites, online retailers, and vendors. These retailers are offering similar products from ten different brands, all in one place. So, it is quite a challenge for D2C brands to attract new customers and retain old customers. If you have streamlined a communication pathway with your customers, you can easily overcome this problem and prevent them from leaving your brand.

  • Buying habits of customers are changing rapidly

Gone are those days when a customer would wait for you to restock an item. Today if a customer does not like your product or if the product that they want is out of stock, they would simply switch to a different brand. That’s why I say that brand loyalty is not that easy for D2C brands. It would be best if you worked on building customer relationships and providing value to them so that they value your brand in return.

  • A need for personalization is rising

Every customer has a different demand these days, and they expect brands to fulfil them. For instance, customers expect brands to answer their queries on social media. They also prefer product recommendations based on their preferences. Every customer wants to feel valued. So, if you work in providing a personalized shopping experience to your customers at every stage of the customer lifecycle, you can deepen your relationships with them and achieve brand loyalty.

  • Personal recommendations are valued

Have you ever bought a product from a brand recommended by your friend? I am sure you must have! Word-of-mouth plays a significant role today. If a customer shares your product on their social media handle and provides a review, some of their friends would likely try it. People nowadays prefer buying from brands that their friends or family recommend. This way, it is easier for them to trust such brands amongst thousands of unknown options.

  • Brands need consistent communication

If you want to shine amongst the stars, you need to develop your own identity amongst the customers. When you speak to your customers at every touchpoint consistently, they create a sense of trust for your brand. On the other hand, if all your representatives speak with different messages to customers, they might get confused and unsure of what your brand represents.

How to build relationships with your customers? ‍Bring the right CRM!

To have contextual conversations with customers, you, as a D2C brand, need to get a deeper understanding of your customers, which can be done with the help of a CRM.

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps you collect and manage all the data associated with your customers in one place. You can segment various customers based on their shopping patterns, preferences, purchase history, and so on.

A CRM gives you a better understanding of which marketing channel yields the best results for your campaigns. You can create 360-degree customer profiles, enabling you to understand every customer deeper.

In all, a CRM provides complete visibility of the current operations. It helps you track every conversation with customers, and identify essential customers, new customers, and potential sales opportunities. Let us take a look at each of these benefits in detail.

How does a CRM help in evolving a D2C brand?

Bringing conversations to one place

Whether social media, website, or email, you can bring data of all the conversations with your customers in one place using a CRM. This will not only help you in managing and responding to the queries of the customers but will also make it easier for you to build relationships with your customers.

For instance, you would know what issues the customer has faced, how quickly they were resolved, and what can be done to speed up the process if they are still unresolved.

Automated customer journey mapping and support

Almost every customer has a few basic queries regarding the products, delivery options, payment options, return, refund, and exchange policies. A CRM can help you automate a series of emails that would provide answers to all the basic questions of the customers.

This way, your customer support team can focus more on selling and promoting the brand rather than just answering the same old questions.

Running relevant personalized campaigns based on deeper customer understanding

Every customer is different, so why treat them with the same messages? Some customers prefer discounts, some prefer cashback while some need reward points. As a result, their shopping behaviours, buying patterns and preferences change. A CRM can help you classify different customers on predefined criteria so that you can deal with them accordingly.

Also Read: Opinion: Creator economy and its many outfalls

Better reports and dashboards for data analysis

A CRM can help you create real-time reports, giving insights about a customer. You must have heard of 360-degree profiles which include customer personas for every individual customer. With these reports, you can analyze a variety of data such as payment preferences, order history, demographics, shopping patterns, and more. As a result, you can understand the customers in a better way.

How to implement CRM in a D2C business?

Now that your mind must be all ready to implement a CRM system in your business. Let me give you an easy guide on how to do that.

  • Step 1: Capture data

You must understand that implementing CRM is not a one-day job. It takes time to reap the benefits. While implementing your CRM, your goal should be to collect as much customer data as you can. Consider finding data from multiple sources such as email, social media, websites, etc, and store it in a centralized repository.

  • Step 2: Segment customers

You must start analyzing the data that you have collected and classify your customers accordingly. Based on that segmentation, you need to personalize your marketing campaigns. For instance, you can base your campaigns on segments like Active, Dormant, At Risk, High Spender, and many others.

  • Step 3: Set up a campaign journey

It is now time to start communicating with your customers based on their journey. For instance, treat your new customers with a series of welcome emails or messages, create some product recommendations for customers who have already bought products from you, provide some new discounts and offers to customers who are currently inactive, and so on. A CRM incorporated with a journey builder can help you streamline this process.

  • Step 4: Understand customers deeply 

Then, your goal should be to understand your customers better. See how your campaigns and loyalty programs are performed and study customer behaviour at a deeper level. This way you can understand how your campaigns are impacting the customers or what further steps should be taken to optimize your campaigns.

The right CRM can upscale your D2C business in no time!

Since customers are becoming more open to experimenting with brands, the competition between D2C brands has gone fierce. This means, that retaining customers will be a challenge for you in the coming months. If you want to beat the competition, you need to reach your customers first and make an impact.

A CRM can help in analyzing customer data in a better way. This way, you can initiate timely conversations with the customers based on their interests and preferences. No more spamming customers with unnecessary product recommendations and sales pitches!

The article is authored by Pranav Ahuja, Co-founder & CEO, of Xeno.


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