The Wolf of Services

By Dan Sixsmith

Aug 26, 2018 Conversion, DigitalServices, Measurement

Providing a combination of services and products for your most important clients creates a sticky partnership.   Times are changing.  Expectations are higher.   And results have never been harder to achieve.

Did you know that…

  • You have a 60-70% chance of a successful sale with a current customer as opposed to only a 5-20% chance with a new prospect (Groove, March 2015) and that…
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits anywhere between 25% and 125% (Gartner), yet despite this….
  • 90% of B2B marketers are NOT properly managing the end-to-end customer experience. A study from Gleanster reprimanded B2B marketers for spending too much of their budget and their focus on acquisition versus retaining and expanding customer relationships.

No wonder that ‘customer experience’ is expected to be the most important source of differentiation for over 90% of companies in the next 2 years (Gartner). But there is significant work to do. Despite the overwhelming value of customer retention, marketers continue to “obsess over acquisition.”(Forrester). In a recent survey, by eConsultancy only 18% of marketers indicated they are ‘focusing’ on retention over acquisition. So herein lies a major opportunity for marketers to substantially help drive their organization’s numbers skyward. The evidence says that marketing leaders need to ease up on the acquisition pedal and start pumping more juice into the customer experience specifically that which begins at the time of the first purchase.

With this in mind, here are what some of the experts are saying are key drivers of a successfully mastering customer retention and increasing the lifetime value of your customers:

Constantly Provide Value: At RAD we work with B2B clients to help them define their distinct value and competitive advantage. While this helps with customer acquisition, it is also a powerful tool in nurturing the ongoing customer experience. Likewise, we collaborate on the subject of ‘realized value’ so our clients can continually demonstrate and justify their worth. Regularly measure the value you are delivering.

Adoption: You need to make sure that your solution is widely adopted and that your client is maximizing the value he can derive from it. Training is critical. Regularly update best practices. Hands on account management and customer service is also imperative. Quarterly meetings, or more review of activity levels help you keep tabs on trends and enable you to make adjustments along the way.

Change is Constant: Stay in close touch with your client team and help them manage the change process. Build out a large group of advocates within the organization. Re-orgs frequently result in players shuffling in and out. Make sure you have friends that are still standing after the dust settles. Similarly, follow your customers’ every move on social media, and in the financial markets. Make sure you stay in lockstep and continue to understand their latest challenges. Your approach, service or even the solution itself may need to change in response to the customer’s latest needs.

Optimize and Monetize: As you continue to deliver stellar customer service in addition to account and project management, you need to leverage this momentum and turn it into new revenue opportunities that benefit both you and the client. New products or additional features can and will add value to your current constituents.  Ask for referrals and penetrate new divisions as frequently as possible. Your newly budding internal advocates will pave the way for you. The act of up selling and cross selling strengthens relationships, enhances the customer experience, increases the overall value that the customer receives, and delivers higher customer lifetime value.

Increase your customer retention budget:  Invest in the people, processes and culture needed to support your efforts in becoming a world class organization which effectively manages the end-to-end customer experience.

A misstep in the customer retention process can be costly. Churn is deadly. The competition is turning up the heat and the wolf is always at the door.  So, keep those customers happy and the results will speak for themselves.

#DigitalServices #Conversion # Measurement