Now, how do you expect me, of all people, to answer this question? 😉
It is never too early to focus on retaining customers. Because if you do not make customer retention a simultaneous part of your customer acquisition process, then you will be worrying about retaining customers down the road.
Because a customer’s retention experience starts long before that customer is acquired.
If you are a Professional of Worth, then retaining customers is a big deal, translational factor in how you always deliver to customers.
That is why the first sale you make to a new customer includes an overview of why, what, when and how you will make additional sales to them.
Why avoid talking about the future of your relationship? Consider this scenario from the customer’s perspective. They are skeptical. They think you are going to love them and leave them because you are tactically (and quota-) focused. And when you, indeed, prove to be yet another self-focused sales person, well, then it will be your turn to wonder why the customer left you. Discuss your retention strategy at the same time you work on that first project with your new customer.
If you are in engineering or technology, the first solution you create for a new customer includes an overview of why, what, when and how your solution creates value.
In terms of built-in robustness and flexibility that expands how that equipment and program perform as the business and use cases grow, over time. Otherwise, your quick and dirty, cheap and specific fixes and solutions are stand-alone and lack interoperability. And besides, your customer just may be investing in your imagination, as well.
And if you are on a field service team or serve an internal customer service function, you continuously look at the daily, weekly and monthly aggregated topics comprising customer calls.
You do your own homework, instead of waiting for “someone else” to create these stats. Because, often, these reports are not an accurate reflection of what you, yourself, hear amongst the clients you serve. And those clients are not only counting on you to advocate on their behalf. Also, they count on you to communicate potential product, service and process improvements. Create a ripple – and retention – effect on overall strategic customer experience and retention. Serve customers strategically, instead of tactically.
A customer’s retention experience is catalyzed by the quality of their collaboration experiences with you.
In each of these three scenarios, the Professional of Worth purposefully moves beyond transacting business into creating translational value for the customer.
To make a long-term difference to clients, clearly articulate your role in their growth, expansion and sustainability strategy. From the start. So that you do not need to worry about retaining them, down the road.
Why worry later on about retaining the customers you win today? Take your next step forward towards retaining them, today.
- Engage me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event. Make customer retention worries a thing of the past.
- Book a strategy appointment with me. Learn how to better serve your customers.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ keynote speaking programs and workshops focus on innovative strategies and tactics for business growth, workforce profitability and professional development. She catalyzes organizations and associations, like yours, to leverage collaborative business models and a profitable workforce, to retain the customers and members 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.