Lost CRM Opportunities: Lessons From Buying New Shoes

Yesterday, I bought new black dress shoes from a store in Toronto. I’ve bought shoes and boots from the same store a few years in a row. While the store is doing the fundamentals right, there’s a big piece missing in their CRM and use of customer data!

As I completed the checkout process, they asked me for my phone number. After I provided it, they pulled up my customer file on their terminal. Out of curiosity, I asked if they had a record of the last purchase I made. They did! In fact, they had three or four different purchases logged in their file.
The problem? They were collecting detailed customer profiles and then doing nothing with it. I can’t recall receiving a single phone call from the store. If you’re never going to call the customer, why bother asking for the information? Likewise, they only send generic direct mail to me. Given the fact that they collect detailed purchase data, this seems like a major oversight.

What Could This Shoe Store Do Differently?

There are at least three different ways the company could make better use of their CRM data. My suggestions are partly inspired by one of the best sales books of all time: The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes.

  1. Call the customer after purchase to check on satisfaction and offer an upsell
    The salesperson mentioned that the shoes could be returned in a certain amount of time. Why not use this guarantee to proactively reach out to me by day five or six after the purchase? If the customer is unhappy, you can work to address their problems. If they are content, you can offer an upsell (e.g., a replacement cleaning product to be sold in three months).
  2. Contact the customer when the seasons change
    I’m based in Toronto, Canada. That means we have an intense winter season for several months each year. My wonderful new black dress shoes are not going to perform well in half a foot of snow. So, they could make a note in their CRM to contact me in late November. Perhaps let me know about a Christmas sale?
  3. Send a customized card or offer in the mail A few years ago, I received a customized thank you card in the mail after buying some clothes at Brooks Brothers. They are the only retailer that has ever done that! Admittedly, not every retailer will have high enough customer lifetime value (CLV) to justify that effort. A decent shoe store that sells shows for $150, $200 or more? A customer for such a store is easily worth $500 or $1000 over several years. That means there is a good case to be made for sending a customized card.

What Does This Mean For Marketing Automation Companies?

Rethink the customer information you are gathering.

In a post GDPR world, simply gathering all the data you can in the hope that you can find a use for it later is not going to cut it. Your CRM data is only usable if you encourage staff to build habits and processes to do the following:

Acknowledge customers!

Thank them for their business. In the marketing automation industry, ClickFunnels is fantastic at this process.

Set out checkpoints for Customer Success.

In the first month as a customer, ask the customer success team to reach out to the customer. Don’t accept the “let us know if you have any questions” approach. Come prepared with one value-added tip that helps new users use the problem.

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