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Where did my customers go, and will they be back?

There is no doubt recent world events have disrupted our lives both domestically and professionally; travel has changed, as have the places we frequent and in many cases the way in which we interact with external parties will never be the same.

Where did my customers go, and will they be back?

As a provider of products and/or services you are likely concerned as to whether this has permanently disrupted your customers’ buying behaviors.

Any assumption that customers will revert to old habits, and “it will all be back to normal” from a sales perspective are optimistic, if not potentially dangerous to your company’s recovery.

It takes about a month to break a habit, so through lockdown it is likely that your customers have started to consider other options. It could be they have survived without your product or service, found a substitute, or simply lack the finances, in the short-term, to return to the purchasing patterns you have grown accustomed to. 

Some organisations have already acted, and have executed a range of sales, marketing and fulfilment strategies to ensure that their teams and brands not only retain market share but are positioning themselves to take advantage of companies who don’t have a fresh perspective. Indeed, many organisations have reinvented themselves, moving to digital channels when traditional bricks and mortar operations suddenly ceased.

In the New Zealand market, we have seen exponential demand for online stores and improved supply chain processes, and whilst traditional transportation companies have struggled with demand, we have seen conveyance services, such as Uber, reinvent themselves as pseudo freight carriers.

At Intergen, our customers face many of the challenges above. They recognise this and are asking for guidance around how technology may facilitate their recovery.

Most commonly we are hearing:

  • Have I lost my customer or are they just not purchasing?
  • Am I losing to competitors? What are they doing that is different from me?
  • What can I do to rectify this situation?
  • How do I improve engagement and create a more intimate experience with my customers?

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but there is a common theme, and it starts with the customer engagement and using the information you gather to make improvements.

What do we truly know about our customers?

Customer loyalty is fickle at the best of times. Compound that with a lack of knowledge about them, their preferences, purchase history, and treating them as part of a herd and we begin to understand why it’s hard to engender their loyalty.

Organisations should treat every interaction with a customer, or prospect, as an opportunity to learn and improve. Every contact provides insight, whether that is in-store, online, through records of purchase history and returns, or click-throughs on your webpages.

This requires having systems and processes in place that not only capture these interactions, but can then help us recognise trends and patterns and adjust our engagement models in the future.

Once this data is harvested, it may better help you predict what they will do next, or better still uncover action you can take to secure them as an existing or new customer.

What do we truly know about our competition?

For many years we have kept records about our customers, but do we ever think about our competitors? What are their approaches to the market? Do they achieve better outcomes than us? What unique value proposition do they have that potentially makes them more attractive?

This is not a technology challenge. This is a simple case of building processes into your business to monitor competitor behavior. But the concept is the same as customer engagement. By establishing processes within your CRM system, capturing data as it is identified and systematically using that data to understand competitive forces, this will help your business adapt more swiftly and modify your own behavior.

Imagine being able to predict your competitor’s next move and beating them to market? Not only does this give you a valuable position with your customers, but over time, it will frustrate your competitor and potentially create additional whitespace as they struggle to combat your go-to-market strategy.

What is Intergen doing to help its customers?

At Intergen we’ve been running several webinars over the past couple of months focusing on how customers can use data to improve their go-to-market.

Additionally, we have launched our #ReimagineWork microsite, where we have shared, and continue to share, an abundance of information, insights and advice around how to secure business in this changing world.

Finally, we have released several Rapid Results solutions focused on delivering quick time to benefit deployments of CRM for Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service to help customers get to market easily. Combined with our rapid starter offers for Microsoft Customer Insights, organisations can mine existing, and new data easily, making sense of trends and demands and facilitating rapid change in customer engagement.

Whether you have an existing CRM system in place, or not, doubling down on your customer engagement, making the experience more intimate for them and recognising that everyone is unique and should be treated so, is more vital now than ever. At Intergen, we understand this, and work with our customers to tailor a technology solution to suit.


This blog is part of the #ReimagineWork series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download our datasheets, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download our datasheets, click the banner #datareimagine

Posted by: Stewart Gibbs, Practice Manager, Business Applications | 18 June 2020

Tags: CRM, Customer Relationship Management, #ReimagineWork

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