The Customer Retention Program You Can’t Afford To Ignore

“The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour”

-Japanese proverb 

Even customers we know “like the back of our hand” will change over time. Too often, assumptions are made about how long-time customers will respond to us and companies stop nurturing customer relationships after they have matured. 

As time goes by, the same level of service becomes less effective. The lure of competitors will encourage the customer to reevaluate their loyalty to existing vendors or service providers. A question that needs to be asked is, “What is the incentive for customers to stay for three, five, or ten years?” 

National studies and CRM data can tell us about a customer’s attitudes, wants, and needs. However, these can never replace a personal approach to keeping customers in the long run. By increasing quality focus on customers, your companies’ employees increase revenue and create positive brand awareness.

Your companies’ staff has worked hard to gain today’s customers! Now, companies need to make sure they use every quality tool and technique possible to build a fence around their customers to keep competitors out.  

How can I keep my customer base satisfied? 

Build a customer “touch” content/program matrix. This matrix should include the customer by segment, the content that fits the persona of the segment, and what is the call to action.  Start the engagement once a salesperson marks the opportunity as closed-won within your CRM solution.

How will you want to onboard the new customer?  What content will help support the lifetime value of the customer?   

Create content that is strictly for customers so they can hear from multiple people in your organization. Articles, videos, podcasts, eBooks should come from the CEO, the product manager, customer service, billing, and sales. This way the customer feels “loved” by all members of the organization. Frequency is important as new content should be written and disseminated based on the consumption habits of the customers.   

Tactics in this program should include: 

  • Net Promoter Score 
  • VIP Customer Events 
  • Customer Advisory Panel 
  • Referrals 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Add an automated system for NPS.   The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this answer is based on a 0 to 10 scale.  

Net promoter score enables you to gain insights into your customer base through these standards.  

  • Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters and likely to exhibit value-creating behaviors, such as buying more, remaining customers for longer, and making more positive referrals to other potential customers.  
  • Those who respond with a score of 0 to 6 are labeled  Detractors, and they’re less likely to exhibit the value-creating behaviors. 
  • Responses of 7 and 8 are labeled  Passives, and their behavior falls between Promoters and  Detractors. 

The Net Promoter Score is % of Promoters – % of Detractors.

Passives count toward the total number of respondents, thus decreasing the percentage of detractors and promoters and pushing the net score toward 0. 

Make sure to build out NPS dashboards with the CRM system, so you can view real-time the health of the customers!

Triggers to Use to Automate Your NPS Survey To Send Out: 

  1. 30-days after closed-won.  Automate an NPS survey so you can understand the onboarding process and discover if any buyer’s remorse is uncovered. This allows your team to proactively identify issues and address them.
  1. Six months after closed-won, or six months after renewal.  This provides you insight into the current working relationship.  If a customer submits a detractor response, the flow can be set that contact record and the response is assigned to the contact owner.  This enables companies the ability to save customers and mitigate attrition. 

    If a customer submits a promoter, use the same automation process, and reach out to ask for case study, testimonial, referrals, etc.   
  1. Immediately once a salesperson moves a potential customer to closed-lost.  Obtaining specific reasons directly from the potential customer can provide further process improvement within the sales and marketing process.   
  1. One month after problem resolution.  A quality approach to customers who have experienced problems within your organization is to check on these customers long after the problem has been resolved. Many companies quickly process customer concerns, but they often don’t follow-up later.  Follow-up with the customer one month after the problem was resolved and do three things: 
  • Thank them for their business 
  • Ask them if everything is still working, as they want it to 
  • And let them know that no issue is too small to be addressed 

VIP Customer Events 

Many companies have deleted these type programs from their budget, but if your company can afford a nice way to say thank you to your top-tier customers, I would plan a VIP event. Make them feel special and highly-valued, because they are!

Note: Some verticals are unable to provide this program due to gifting rules and requirements.  

Customer Advisory Panel 

Invite a handful of top customers globally to participate in a special advisory committee once or twice a year for a day and let them see something to which the general public does not have access. This will also allow the executive team to listen to their customer’s valuable feedback. 

Referrals 

Referrals are the best lead source. Continue to ask for referrals and follow-up with a handwritten thank you card. A nice branded, embossed, thank you note will be received much better than a text. The goal is to mitigate attrition. 

With these customer retention programs in place, you’ll enjoy greater lifetime value of existing customers for your bottom line while increasing the value of new customers in one go.

Planning for customer engagement will make or break your marketing revenue number. If you think you’re missing something, we can help!

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