Your business has a very successful customer abandonment strategy in place. Except you probably aren’t aware of it.
You have a client base full of long-time customers who continue to do business with you. That’s good, right? They renew contracts like clockwork. They issue repeat orders each quarter, too. No problem.
You can count on your customers to keep your business going. And your customers can count on you to abandon them in the time in between.
Except your long-time, allegedly loyal customers really aren’t very interested in doing any new business with your company. The projects they dole out to you are all yesterday’s tech, or low-tech. The average contract size hasn’t really budged since forever.
That’s because your business is used to the same-old purchasing patterns. The books look good and all is well, right? After all, those status quo orders keep cash flow stable and predictable.
Well, it works both ways.
Those allegedly loyal customers perceive your company as only interested in repeat business. And as you gradually, unconsciously and unintentionally, abandon them, they abandon you, as well.
You see, competitors win their new business on newer projects. Why? Because competitors stay in touch with your customers, throughout the pre- and certainly during the post-sale phases.
Over time, your customer abandonment strategy erodes your company’s ability to retain those loyal customers. Then, your customers rationalize that since your competitors are so good at creating remarkable outcomes and positive customer experiences, why shouldn’t they have all the business?
Then you take your head out of the sand: your customer abandonment strategy is a successful acquisition and retention strategy for your competitors and loyal customers.
You made some mis-assumptions that compromise your business. For starters, you presume you will retain business with existing customers simply because these customers keep giving you business. Until, one day, they don’t.
At that point, you have no idea what went wrong. Because you were not plugged into the customer’s voice, until it is time to renew contracts.
Tell me. What type of growth, expansion and sustainability strategy is a customer abandonment strategy?
A customer abandonment strategy can be so subtle, that you aren’t aware your company is stuck.
Your sales people keep bringing in repeat business. Your engineers keep executing the same outcomes. Things are clicking along like clockwork: the same things, done the same way, over time.
My advice: pull your head out of the sand each month. Take a walk around the table and look at your company from the eyes of your loyal clients. Then, assess whether you have won any new business from them. To top it off, assess whether you have won any new business from new clients.
Now, breathe. Turn your customer abandonment strategy into a customer retention growth strategy, instead. Click on this link and let’s put a strategy in place.
Take the next steps towards a rock-solid customer retention strategy:
Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image source: iStock