An effective customer retention strategy is vital for any company – it costs up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. It would make sense that retaining existing customers be a top priority for your business. Keeping customers loyal and motivated to resist competition requires commitment in multiple aspects of your company, but there are two main parts to customer retention that need to be paid close attention to.
- Customer satisfaction
- Proactive customer relationship management
A customer’s satisfaction is highly reliant on the performance of your products and on how good your customer service is. How well do you understand the customer’s expectations? Are you delivering products or services that meet these expectations? These are vital questions that should be asked within your company on a regular basis. Failure to satisfy your customers will eventually lead to loss of business.
Customer Relationship Management
Good customer relationship management should involve some level of analytics. Leveraging technology to understand who your existing customers are can go a long way towards providing that extra bit of attention that builds loyalty over time. You can also utilize database marketing technologyto learn when your existing customers are seeking products or services from your competitors. This type of insight will help you stay abreast of your customer needs so and build loyalty.
At some level every organization understands how important it is to keep their existing customers happy – but not all of these companies know how to execute. Strong customer retention depends on a multi-faceted approach to satisfying the customer – everything from your products, customer’s interaction with your sales and account reps, and the introduction or cross-selling of new products must be presented with precision and care. Rarely can this be done without investing some time and resources in understanding your customers’ needs and seeing the complete picture of who they are.
Would you like to kick-start your customer retention strategy? Contact our database marketing team today!
Whether you’re already onboard with database marketing as the driving force behind your direct marketing efforts, or you’ve decided you need to be, there’s always something that can improve your bottomline results. To help get the most from your valuable data let’s take a look at the three key strategies that should be a part of every marketer’s strategy; newbies and veterans alike.
Continually Grow Your Database
With the internet, direct mail and other marketing tools available like data appending there are almost limitless opportunities to capture new data about your existing contacts. Do it! Your database should be constantly expanding, and not just in the number of records but in the depth and breadth of the information included in each record. When it comes to data, err on the side of even too much is not enough.
Manage and Monitor
Data, like effective marketing, is in constant flux. People move, change jobs, get married or a host of other life changes. Put a process in place to consistently update your data regularly. Having a clear picture of your existing customers should drive your efforts to bring in new ones. Using inaccurate or outdated information to drive your marketing campaigns is a recipe for disaster.
If you’re managing your data you should have a pretty clear picture of what’s working, and what’s not. Rarely if ever is marketing absolutely perfect. Continually try different ways and means of contacting your customers and prospects based on earlier results. Tweaking the messages, timing of your contacts and data analysis should be an on-going step in your database marketing process.
The upsides of using data to drive your marketing campaigns are simply too substantial to ignore. Taking a strategic approach to data management will ensure the results justify your efforts.
The good news is you’ve generated or found your sales team high quality, online leads. Avoiding the bad news means producing significant ROI by closing them. As a sales and marketing pro you know any lead is a bad lead if it isn’t followed up on properly, and nothing’s worse than seeing your hard work wasted.
A few tips
Are your internal processes or lead providers supplying you with old or overworked leads? Toss ‘em. Just as quality marketing is about efficiency -- gaining the most from your budget and efforts, so is closing online leads. Either buy or generate exclusive leads for your people. The difference in closing ratio is dramatic, and who doesn’t like to see a few smiling faces around the office?
Follow up ASAP, ideally with leads that are real-time. Perhaps a prospect just completed an online quote or information request for example. Develop an internal process to get those leads to the people you know will contact them immediately.
Then there’s always the question of follow up procedures. Three times should be a minimum before filing a lead away, at least for a few days. And with quality leads there are usually several means of contact. Certainly email and phone are fairly standard today, particularly for online leads. Juggle the method of contact until the prospect is reached. Leaving 3 or 4 messages in a day is overwhelming. But a VM or two in conjunction with an email should be fine.
You’ve done your job – provided your people with outstanding leads. The tips above will help them do theirs and everyone wins, just as it should be.