These 18 ways create a more effective customer retention strategy. However, they are contrary to everything you have learned as a sales professional. Or a sales engineering professional, a customer service professional, or any other professional engaged in acquiring and retaining customers.
Which is just about everyone in the organization.
Sshhhh…. This is super-secret stuff. And my holiday gift to you.
The best way to create and implement a more effective customer retention strategy is to expand and then divide the customer lifecycle into an 18 month time period.
No matter what your current role within the organization, stop trying to fit customers into a fiscal calendar year cycle. It is simply too short-sighted for any worthwhile return on investment to happen.
And besides, there is a tendency for you to focus on how you, yourself, perform during those shorter time periods. Rather than analyzing how long it is going to take, within your client’s organization, to realize tangible results from product performance and service delivery value. And from your own value to your clients, for that matter.
That is all.
Stretching your focus to create an effective customer retention strategy of 18-months changes the way you acquire and retain customers.
You and I, both, are creatures of a 12-month time frame habit. That habit creates a set of behaviors and expectations which impact how we best serve customers.
So ask yourselves. What do you intend to do, over the next 18 months, for each one of your customers? Each one of those months within that 18-month time frame represents an opportunity – for you – to create extraordinary value. For each one of them.
An effective customer retention strategy is not all about doing the same things, but over a longer time period. That is too comfortable (and too easy).
Doing the same things, the same way, just over a longer time period is straight up status quo. You do not achieve different results.
However, expanding the business year into 18, 30-day segments challenges how you think about customer relationships. And what is important to customers throughout that time period.
Because 18 months does not fit into anyone’s convenient business model. Consequently, your perspective changes about what actually is a relevant and valuable customer touchpoint.
Not only that. When you propose solutions to customers, both new and old, within this 18-month time frame, expectations about deliverables become more realistic. From both sides of the business table. Measuring effectiveness of programs, services and return on investment becomes more strategically customer-focused.
Innovating an effective customer retention strategy is a long-term commitment between you and your customer.
When customers are engaged throughout an 18-month timeline, renewal of 12-month contracts become part of fulfilling the ongoing strategy. Instead of a convenient endpoint to switch suppliers before real ROI is achieved.
Consider the impact of this strategy on customer experience.
Can you recalibrate to think in 18, one-month customer-focused increments? Move one millimeter beyond your current professional comfort level. If you want to create a more effective customer retention strategy, that is. Otherwise, if all you want is to meet your quarterly KPIs or win the sales contest, then, carry on.
To get started on a more innovative, distinctive and differentiating approach to retaining customers, click on this link and schedule a call with me. Today.
Then, take these next steps.
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event to catalyze your mindset and skill sets.
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Babette Ten Haken and her One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking and storytelling programs are dedicated to companies, like yours, who want to leverage more collaborative business models and profitable workforces to retain the customers you work so hard to win. Babette 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. Her professional speaker profile appears on the espeakers platform.
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