7 Keys to Customer Retention
Customer Retention is critical to your business!
By John Boyens
SPEAK! Featured Speaker
Today, more than ever before it’s critical to get and keep customers! Most of the businesses in the United States generate the majority of their revenue by maintaining and cross-selling their existing customers. According to the Harvard Business Review the cost to replace lost customers can be six to seven times more expensive than winning their business in the first place.
Our studies show that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can result in profit increases of 20 to 80% for most businesses. This is such an important and timely topic that it was the focus of two of my recent keynote addresses (The Keys to Customer Retention and Up-Sell) this summer.
Here are the seven keys to customer retention and cross-selling.
- Know your customer’s world: What makes them unique? What are their specific needs? What causes them to take action/buy? What would keep them from buying?
- Deliver flawless results: To establish long-term customer relationships it is critical that you flawlessly deliver every benefit and value you promise. That is the key to a customer’s respect, trust and loyalty.
- Develop a proactive plan: Understanding your customer’s world and doing first-rate work are essential for creating a loyal clientele. In addition you must develop a proactive, customer-specific plan that articulates how you will retain and grow your customer base. Without a plan, you'll drift from project to project, relying mostly on luck.
- Uncover “needs”: To retain customers, you must focus on driving customer satisfaction. Rather than just making a sale and then moving on to the next customer, savvy salespeople are turning themselves into “account managers” in addition to being salespeople.
- Manage expectations: You need to manage expectations. This means from both a positive (proactive communication) and negative perspective.
Let me give you an example. Customers with unrealistic expectations with regard to what they want and/or what you can deliver will never be satisfied. They'll just waste your time and then ultimately take their business elsewhere.
- Keep your name in front of your customer: Maintain communications. Reach out to the
customer four times a year at a minimum. Call them, drop by, take them to lunch, etc. Make sure you use technology (i.e., email, social media, etc.) to proactively manage your customer contact.
- Assume nothing: No matter how good you are, never assume you've got a loyal client. Complacency never fosters loyalty. A client's trust and loyalty can be lost if a salesperson gets cocky or lets performance slip…even on just one interaction.
Remember…“You don’t need to provide excellent customer service to all your customers…
just the ones you want to keep!”