In the article Marketing starts with customer service, the author promotes the concept of identifying the 20% of your customers that drive the majority of your business. Then market to them and provide them with stellar service. The idea is to have a targeted marketing approach for your top existing customers just as you would to a target demographic (using more typical marketing parlance).
Later in the article, the different marketing strategies are referred to as retention tools…hmmm…interesting.
It’s interesting because many of us think about customer service as responding to requests, as resolving issues, as anticipating customer needs. But from a retention standpoint, what collateral (or to use the author’s term), what tools do employees at your company have available to them to keep and grow business with existing customers?
Remember from our other blog posts that retention is different from marketing in that retention needs to be more personalized – more 1-to-1 based on the customer’s true renewal drivers. But once you know those drivers for your key client types, you may find consistencies such that a high percentage of customers will stick with you for a few key reasons.
In pro sports, the teams often offer many benefits to customers, but we’ve surveyed enough season ticket holders (STHs) to know that those benefits are rarely the reason why the STH renews are not. So don’t come up with a laundry list of benefits; again, be targeted.
If the retention driver is “being in the know” with your company’s latest product offerings or events or initiatives, possibly have an “Insider” newsletter that only the best customers receive before the general public – it could include a personalized letter from the CEO. If the driver is quick turnaround on special orders, ensure you have a fast-track process for urgent orders available to key customers. If the driver is the relationship with the organization’s people, make sure the employees share their names, ask about the customer, give unsolicited tips on the use of the products or meeting other customer needs.
Identify reasons why your key customer types would stay or go, and then create your own retention toolkit.
Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/
Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/