How would you rate your own customer retention performance?
You know. How well you, yourself, perform once the deal is won, the contract comes in-house and is played out in real-time? That critical time-period, the post-sale handoff of the contract for execution, involves more than a digital document passing through a CRM.
Listen in on my latest video about post sale customer abandonment, and how it negatively impacts customer retention.
Your own customer retention performance is a testimonial to the quality of your post-sale handoff of people, not digital files. Think about it.
As long as sales professionals continue to be hired – and compensated – to hunt up new business and acquire new customers, they fulfill their performance criteria. Legitimately, end of story. Or so it (still) seems.
From the perspective of the sales organization, customer retention performance repeats new business acquisition. Only this time, closing the deal involves cross-selling and up-selling: primary sales activities resulting in sales compensation.
As a result, a chain of events occurs between the close of the initial sale with a new customer and subsequent sales to that same customer. This not-exactly-linear chain of events is populated by lots of professionals: the “someone else’s” who are functionally responsible for post-sale customer support. Far too often, these individuals remain nameless and faceless to the sales organization, until there is an emergent situation to react to.
These emergent situations often result from post-sale customer abandonment by the sales person to the post-sales support arsenal. And then what happens? The blame game all over again?
Instead, ponder how clients rate the quality of your post sale customer retention performance, when things go wrong. And even when things go right.
Often, clients are put in the middle of the blame game. When that happens, they attempt to put all of the internal puzzle pieces together, for their own benefit, in order to resolve your collective tactical shortcomings. The self-resolution of their issues resembles a scavenger hunt.
In the end, your clients know the names and faces of all the (often virtual and artificially intelligent) post-sale professionals engaged in their well-being. Do you?
Depending on where we sit around the digitally transforming business table, we all “see” the same things, differently. It just could be that while your own customer retention performance continues to be measured in a parochial manner, your clients “see” things far differently.
What happens when clients decide to continue to do business with you and your organization based on the value of the post-sale continuum? When that happens, guess who owns customer retention – and that customer relationship? Everyone who takes care of the customer, post-sale. Often, everyone in the organization who was not involved in the initial sale.
Does that definition of customer retention make you the least bit uncomfortable? Because it should. It moves you one millimeter beyond what is comfortable. Towards what is Possible.
Today’s customers seek holistic, continuous and interoperable customer retention performance. From everyone. Isn’t it time to put my speaking programs and workshops into play, real-time, in your organization? Your customers will thank you. Contact me and let’s start that conversation, shall we?
Start moving one millimeter forward beyond what is comfortable, today. Instead, let’s target what is Possible, together.
- Engage me to speak or conduct an interactive workshop at your next corporate or association event.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops help individuals, teams, organizations and associations leverage productive and profitable collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. She serves organizations as an inspiring speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Her speaking programs combine her training as a STEM design thinker, Six Sigma Green Belt and Voice of the Customer practitioner with her background in new product development, startups, market research and sales. How’s that for walking the cross-functional collaboration walk? She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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