Increase Repeat Business: Design a Zoho CRM Enabled Customer Development System

repeat business

Why Its Important to Increase Repeat Business

Its critical for a business to increase repeat business.  Yet, when I mention CRM to small business owners or sales professionals, their first thoughts or questions nearly always pertain to lead generation or sales process.  Those are important things. But, there is another HUGE and critically IMPORTANT function that your CRM system should be leveraged to do. It should be leveraged to enable, enforce, and manage a process I call the Customer Development process.

Your existing customer base is the BEST and FASTEST source of revenues and profits.  In the late ’90s, Frederick Reichheld, a nationally recognized business strategist, published a national bestseller called the Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value.  In that book, Reichheld demonstrated how and why even small increases in customer loyalty can have significant increases in profitability.   

I can personally attest to the “loyalty effect”.  Over the course of 10 years, I purchased 3 GM Saturns.  There were many reasons for my loyalty — buying experience, ownership experience, product quality among them.  Saturn had me at my 1st purchase and I continued to buy until I couldn’t any longer because GM shut down the line.  I was a gold mine to them — along with 10s of thousands of others. I also experienced it from the business owner side of things when I owned my own custom software development business.  Approximately 70% of our revenues — and the lion’s share of our profits — came from repeat business.  

We all intuitively know this to be true.  However, in our chase for new customers we oftentimes don’t pay near enough attention to the gold mine right in front of us — our existing customer base.

Increase Repeat Business — Use Zoho CRM to Systematize Your Customer Development Process

So, if you want to increase repeat business, customer development MUST be a tenet of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy — actually, it should be the GOAL of your CRM strategy — to build and maintain a loyal customer base that makes repeat purchases and provides referrals.  And, if you want it to produce results, you must systematize it. You must enable, enforce, and manage it.

So, how do you go about doing this?  I believe you should do what I teach all of my customers to do — design, build and use a Zoho CRM enabled Customer Development process.   The Customer Development process is one of the 4 primary processes of the Business Growth Engine ™ — a business operating system that enables faster and more profitable growth.  Its job is to make sure that customers feel appreciated and valued. And, that is done by through a combination of ongoing RELEVANT interactions designed to build relationships — thank them for their business, ensure ongoing satisfaction with your products and services, keep them up to date with new developments, provide ideas and inspiration around how to use your products, provide special offers, etc.  If you do this well,, you’ll be rewarded with a steadily growing base of repeat business and referrals.

How Use Zoho CRM to Enable, Enforce, and Manage Your Customer Development Process to Increase Repeat Business

Following is a high-level process I have been using to help my customers design and execute effective and efficient customer development processes to increase repeat business.   There are many more details and steps in the process. However, this should get you thinking about doing things differently in your business. If you want or need help to increase repeat business, I can help.  Check out my Zoho CRM training, mentoring, and consulting services. 

  1. Get clear on the goals of your customer development process.  For example, what percentage of your business do you want to come from repeat business? 
  2. Design your customer development process.  What SPECIFIC things will you incorporate into your customer development process?  For example, what type of outreach will you do — calls, emails, direct mail, etc.? How often?  What type of loyalty programs will you put in place — i.e., special “customer only” offers, discounts, “freebies”, etc?  What type of cross-sale or up-sale program will you put in place? Will you offer different programs to different types or groups of customers based on customer ranking or demographics?  What will trigger your various programs? A specific behavior, specific time, etc.?
  3. Determine what customer selection, tracking, and management information (data) will you need to have/collect in order to be able to execute the system?  For example, if you want to make offers to specific customers based on ranking, you will need to create fields and processes to determine and assign ranking information.  If you want to target customers who purchased a specific product, you’ll need to create fields in your database to keep track of what various customers have purchased from you in the past — and when.  If you want to measure how much of your business is coming from repeat business, you’ll need a way to determine if orders are initial purchases or repeat purchases.  
  4. Modify your Zoho CRM modules to add the various tracking fields required to collect the data needed to select records, control the process and provide you with the management data you’ll need.
  5. Create Zoho CRM task templates to define the tasks that will need to be performed — who, how, when.
  6. Create Zoho CRM email templates and call scripts for the various outreaches in your customer development process.
  7. Create campaign tracking records to keep track of the progress and efficacy of your specific repeat business programs.
  8. Create macros and/or automated workflows to schedule and perform tasks, i.e., send an email after a specific trigger date, schedule a call for an inside sales rep, etc.
  9. Create reports to keep track of campaign execution, activities, results, etc.

Want to Learn More Aout the Business Growth Engine™?  Want or Need Help?

Want to learn more about the Business Growth Engine — how it works, and how to go about building one for your business?  Here are a couple of resources for you to check out:

Author: Michael Bitter

Michael Bitter is a small business sales and marketing process consultant, coach, and mentor with 30+ years of experience building — and teaching others how to build and use — CRM enabled sales and marketing systems to generate more and higher-quality leads, turn more leads into closed business, grow your customer base, and increase repeat business and referrals.

His passion — and the purpose behind is work — is teaching and helping small business owners how to build more successful businesses.   He does by teaching them how to implement and use Zoho CRM to enable a Business Growth Engine™ for their business and/or sales territories.