Why do initiatives on retaining customers still feel like a bunch of isolated actions? Provided by people in separate departments. With different functions. All throwing their professional efforts at the customer. Instead of in partnership with the customer.
That is such an outdated customer retention model.
For starters, this outdated concept of retaining customers is linear.
The model assumes that acquiring, serving and retaining customers progresses them along an assembly line. Where people “tinker” with them, if the customer passes by where that particular employee’s function is located.
In this model, customer retention becomes a linear tug-of-war, instead of a cross-functional collaboration of aggregated organizational resources.
In this assembly line, Yesterday’s Age of Mass Production model, the customer ends up serving the organization’s business model. Instead of vice versa. There’s no wiggle room along that assembly line for a non-linear intervention. Or, if there is one, the actions involved disrupt the supplier’s business model.
Who ever though of customers as being disruptive influences on the stability of a business model?
Next, this linear model assumes that customers, once acquired, remain stable throughout the customer lifecycle.
Whatever the factors or conditions under which that customer was acquired once again end up frozen in time. As though the customer is cryogenically frozen so that they remain in a stable state. Again, so the customer “fits” into the organization’s customer retention model. As a result, there is no wiggle room for customer merger and acquisition. Or, emergence of new competitors and new product and technology developments impacting their industry.
The assumption of predictable, set-in-stone customer retention touchpoints inherent in this type of model keep organizations reactive – instead of anticipatory and proactive – when serving customers.
In today’s multi-faceted, Industry 4.0 business ecosystem, retaining customers is fluid, continuous and anything but linear.
Customer acquisition, success and retention is a journey of both supplier and client. And everyone in both organizations. That customer-vendor journey involves getting from Point A to Point Z, not Point B. And the course which is charted, in theory, must be robust, yet nimble enough, to handle smooth sailing and rough seas.
Learn more by watching my video on the New Age of Customer Retention. Click here.
As a result, customers see vendors, suppliers and consultants as a portfolio of resources to be adopted, adapted and applied, depending on the sailing environment. Yeah. This is a holistic concept. And it makes all organizational resources always-on and always available, to best serve clients. No resource is “not available” because the customer is at the “wrong place” in the organization’s business model.
Retaining customers requires all hands on deck. At all times. Proactively.
- What type of model does your organization have, when it comes to retaining customers?
- Are you reactive or proactive?
- Linear or multi-dimensional?
- Flexible or rigid?
- On-the-fly, seat of your pants?
- Or experienced and evolving?
Do these questions make you the last bit uncomfortable?
Because you should be. They move you one millimeter beyond the traditional concept and definition of customer retention. And enlightened individuals, teams, organizations and associations are finding that moving another millimeter forward makes all the difference. In their customer retention rates and employee engagement and experience. How about you?
Move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible. Today. How?
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
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- Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programsleverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation and the type of workforce engagement experiences which fuel customer success and business growth. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers 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. To learn more about what her programs can achieve for you, your team, your organization and your association, contact her, right here.
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