#Growth Wrap-up: Choosing the Right CRM, Loyalty Metrics, CRM Tools, and More

By Angana Sripur | 30 July 2019

CRM has changed drastically since 2010. Entrepreneurs, product managers, and marketers are gearing up with new CRM strategies and tools that can help improve their existing customer engagement, retention, and marketing automation efforts.

We sat down for a panel discussion with Andrew Kabrit COO and Co-founder of Seez App, Namrata Balwani, Ex-Head Digital Marketing and Customer Analytics at Landmark Group, Pallav Singhvi Head of CRM and Loyalty at Tajawal, and Gaurav Chhaparwal, Analytics Leader and Advisor at MoEngage. We bring you some excerpts from this insightful discussion.

Growth Dubai

What are some of the metrics that each of you feels are important to measure, in terms of loyalty and retention?

Gaurav: The one metric I’ve loved is from a business point you just think of how many transactions do you want. What is the frequency of transactions you expect from your customers? From e-commerce, you say every quarter I want my customers to do one transaction. so look at last month’s customers as a percentage of customers between 1 and 4 months ago- so the average transaction period is 1 quarter. From the people who were caught in one quarter how many of them have transacted again in the next one month. This number very simple metrics give you a sense of how many repeat customers you’re getting on the customer base. If you’re actually able to move this metric,  you can get people to buy again, within 3 months. 

Andrew: For us like one thing we look at is the number of app sessions that come through, like how many people are actually using the app along with the user name and how often. But that is also counter-intuitive because if we do our job really well you should spend very little time you know. So, instead of looking at the app sessions themselves, we’re looking at how many cars are they contacting and then that drives it in combination with the app session. But we don’t look purely at just that one KPI because looking at just the one KPI might find us in the wrong direction so we look at the overall picture.  We have a huge sheet with a lot of metrics and we look at how those numbers play together and then use that to actually draw a picture of what happened this week.

Namrata: The perspective that I’ve worked with, the larger framework we have is acquisition engagement and going back. But under all this I’ve seen that the one that cuts across all businesses is customer lifetime value  But some of that tends to change on the business models and that’s where I think the second metric we always look at is the churn rate because if you start predicting the churn rate, it’s always business metrics that come in. The churn predictor for a gym is very different from the churn predictor for baby clothes v/s the churn predictor for a restaurant. So customer lifetime value and churn rate would be the most important. 

Pallav: Loyalty is the number of transactions customers do, that defines loyalty above everything else. But for us, we don’t look at our customer base as an average.  The first 20% of customers give us 70% of the revenue; they’re frequent travelers. For them its the frequency at which they’re interacting or booking with us; that matters a lot to us that shouldn’t drop, that should increase. For a lot of others who are booking once in a year or twice in a year, engagement is whenever anybody has a need and they are opening the app. That itself is engagement from a customer’s perspective Whether they purchase or not, is a factor of multiple other things, that does not define loyalty.

When you have a lot of data coming from offline as well as online, what are the challenges you typically face while unifying customer profiles?

Namrata: Before you start unifying customer profiles what’s really important is to first understand the customer journey. What are the interaction points? And if you want to bridge those gaps what are the gaps that you want to bridge. The second thing is to see that if this is the ideal customer journey, how do we change our marketing sales organization to meet the journey. And you also need to look at what is the data analytics; what you want from a business standpoint, and not as an outcome of creating a single view of the customer at the starting point. Most of the businesses also have third party cloud deployments which are based on certain needs that we had, over time, and we had to deploy cloud solutions. 

Gaurav: We keep talking about that 20% of customers who are responsible for 80% of the revenue, I think it’s very true even for data in terms of the value of data. What ends up happening is in chasing the single customer view, you come up with a very comprehensive 360-degree view. Instead, if you can just pick up the most important data points, it’s important for you to understand what data points are those 20% data points which correspond to 80% value.

Andrew: So the way we actually approach our users is that we don’t try to put the journey through what happened how they should use it. We’re looking at how they actually do things and how they want to do things like sometimes, understand how their life actually works and see how can we actually fit our app inside that now that’s really hard because there are so many different personas out there. But if you can just find a good chunk of those people and see what they have in common, it doesn’t need to be very advanced things like most of these things can actually be picked up with some very simple trends that they are doing. But if you can pick those up, you can start figuring out how to optimize towards these points it will help you a long way about getting to the actual goal which changes,  depending on what your business is. 

How can you identify the right tools for a particular market?

Andrew: So the most obvious one is your team should be able to use the tool if your team can’t use the tool. Then it’s redundant. After that, it’s a question about what you want to use it for. There are several different options that cater to many different situations and that’s why there’s a space for them. So look at it like who’s going to actually use this? What are they capable of doing with this tool and is there something that they’re missing with this tool.

Gaurav: Tools, I would say, more often than not are actually market independent. Unless you have these very specific market tie-up requirement where some tool can plug it into that market or as language support says for example in this market not in UAE in as much as in Saudi, you need to be Arabic supportive you know if there is a tool that does not have Arabic support. I mean you probably cannot do, barring those odd cases as long as you have a tool that as Andrew said you know works with the people you have, it solves business problems that you’re trying to tackle with it, those are the tools you should be looking at. I don’t think the market that specifically makes a massive impact on the tool selection. 

Namrata: You have to start with the customer rather than starting with the tool. So if you look at the customer journey and say what I want to enable out of this, what data do I need,  what business outcome do I want to drive and then say, what are the tools that we need. Then within those tools; how well are they integrated. The danger in a lot of businesses is that the sales team picks something, the marketing team picks something and somebody else picks something. Suddenly you have all these tons of tools that you now have to spend a lot of money integrating so you have to think through that process first and then decide on what tool want you to want. Technology is always the enabler, it’s the people that come first. 

Thank you, Andrew, Namrata, Pallav, and Gaurav for sharing your valuable insights about customer retention and loyalty. We have come to understand that the core of user engagement and retention lies in striking the perfect balance between people and technology.

Sherpa MoEngage

About the Author

Angana Sripur

My aim is to utilise my flair for writing, penchant for marketing, and insightful experience with data analytics companies to enable individuals, brands and businesses to build an engaging narrative.

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