If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve seen our posts on the advantages of sales automation for your small business. And understandably, most of them focus on turning your leads into customers. But if you think that’s where the capabilities of marketing and sales automation end, think again. It’s not just a tool for increasing your customers. Instead, it can also be an invaluable help in increasing your customer loyalty.

Why Repeat Customers Matter

Especially as a small business, chances are much of your marketing focus is on acquiring new customers. And that’s perfectly understandable; after all, they are a natural go-to source to grow your small business. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your existing customers! In fact, turning one-time customers into loyal customers who come back to you time after time is not only cost-effective, it also provides a considerable return on your investment.

When marketing to your existing customers, you have one crucial advantage: they already know about your brand and its value to their lives, so you have to spend considerably less resources on convincing them to buy from you. That’s why on average, encouraging a repeat purchase is between 5 and 10 times less expensive than convincing someone to buy from you for the first time.

And the value of repeat customers doesn’t stop there: on average, 80 percent of your revenue will come from only 20 percent of your existing customers, so it makes sense that an increase in customer retention of as little as 5 percent can lead to a 75 percent increase in profitability.

Acquiring new customers is sexy. But repeat customers are the true engine for your small business growth. And sales automation can help you get there.

How Sales Automation Can Increase Repeat Customers

You probably know the general parameters of sales automation, but just to recap: it’s the process of taking the leads you generated through your website and other sources, and gradually leading (“nurturing”) them toward becoming customers using automated emails. These emails seek above all to inform your leads about both your company and your industry, which serves to slowly nudge them toward becoming sales-qualified.

So far, that’s common knowledge. But you can also use the same type of automated emails to target existing customers and encourage repeat purchases.

Imagine the following scenario from a first-time buyer’s perspective: you’ve purchased an iPhone accessory from a local electronics store. You just needed a new case because your old one broke, and the shop just happened to be close-by. And while you had a pleasant shopping experience, you probably won’t go back anytime soon because of a lack of need for the store’s products.

But after your purchase, you get an email from the sales manager thanking you for your business, and asking you to get back to him should any problems come up. A week later, Apple announces the new iPhone, and you get an email from the store telling you all about it. After another week, you get an overview of products related to the case you bought for your phone. And finally, about a month after your initial buying decision, a coupon arrives that allows you to shop at the store again for a 15% discount that’s exclusive to current customers.

Suddenly, that electronics store is on your mind! It’s not difficult to guess just where you’ll go should you need a new phone or accessory in the near future – you certainly won’t get that personal attention from your local Walmart or Best Buy.

And here’s the best part: from a business perspective, all of the above emails can be automated using CRM workflow management so they require little to no effort from your team once the initial setup is complete.

In short, sales automation allows businesses to offer a personalized after-sales experience that will be sure to increase repeat purchases. And considering the impact these repeat customers can have on your business success, it’s definitely worth a try! If you have any questions about how a CRM that takes advantage of sales automation can help you increase your repeat customers, please contact us.

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