COVID-19 has brought us extended lockdowns, pervasive uncertainty, and fundamentally changed the...
Stop trying to fill a leaky bucket
Today’s blog focuses on a simple but powerful premise: don’t use customer acquisition to offset customer attrition.
A bold and possibly inflammatory statement, I know. But it’s based on a concept that I’m seeing gain traction as the focus of sales continues to shift towards a customer-first (or ‘customer obsessive’ as the analysts are now calling it) mentality.
I could go on about how sales need to change with the times, or that marketing teams need to focus on a more inbound methodology, but I wouldn’t be telling you the whole truth.
Here’s a hard fact that people are reluctant to say out loud: business needs to change.
And here’s one more for good measure: sales is every department’s responsibility.
Now before you decide to lynch me, hear me out.
Every department touches your customer in its own way. Your sales team are the face of your company. Your marketing team are the voice. Your customer service staff are the ears. Whether it’s through the orders that they pack, or the payments they reconcile, every single staff member affects your customer. And where there’s an effect, there’s an opportunity to shape a positive customer experience - and potentially ways and systems to support it.
So let’s circle that back to the original point. Why am I talking about customer retention and customer happiness? Because I believe the two are intrinsically linked. Happy customers talk (and unhappy customers talk louder). If the customers you already have are happy with you, they stick around and sing your praises. Then your acquisition strategy drives revenue and profit, rather than replacing revenue lost through customer attrition.
None of this is to say that you have to beat yourself up over the loss of a single customer. Sometimes situations change and a relationship just isn’t meant to last. However, it’s certainly worth examining why customers move on. Is it circumstance, or does the grass look greener? And is that grass in the form of a more suitable product, a better experience, and/or better service? If your customers aren’t talking positively about your company, ask yourself if there’s anything YOU could be doing to change that.
In delighting your customers, don’t underestimate the impact of small things.
Whether it’s personalising their online experience or following up on an outstanding order before they ask, the effect is subliminal and powerful. With every positive interaction, you’re teaching your customer something vital: that you care about them more than you care about their chequebook. And that’s an experience you can’t buy.
In the coming weeks I want to talk more on some of the ways you can help support customer loyalty. More specifically, I’ll be focusing on making your offering compelling though personalisation, ways to support your buying channels and, of course, helping reduce your customers’ cost of doing business with you.