This is particularly true for business-to-business marketing. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to acquire a new client (sometimes six to 10 times) more than keeping a current one.
We conduct customer engagement studies in all types of industries; pharmaceuticals, medical devices, education, media and many others. In virtually every industry we are able to identify “customers at risk,” (those most likely to stop using your products or services) and develop strategies to retain them. However, engagement research goes well beyond typical customer satisfaction research.
Often, the main reason customers leave has nothing to do with quality or service.
- The old cliché, “Out of sight, out of mind,” is the kiss of death for retaining customers. A frequent complaint, “They only come to see me when they want an order.”
Retention is all about engagement, and keeping in touch with your customers is key to engagement. It doesn’t have to be every day. A regular phone call, providing helpful information (white papers, issues in the news, “how to”, industry intelligence, and industry stories in the news) will help make a client believe you care.
- Remember to thank clients for their business.
Sales people sometimes do this (but just sometimes), but rarely do executives bother to contact a client and thank him or her for their business. This will set your company apart from others.
- Monitor customer experiences.
Identify customer problems before they become a crisis, and then fix the problem. You’ll find out customers stick around longer.