What does it take to create an impactful customer retention team?
First, is there a tried and true process or recipe to follow? Next, is this team full of people from across the organization and lots of different disciplines? Alternatively, do the people on the team reside in a few, traditional and specific departmental silos?
Perhaps you read these questions and think: “creating a customer retention team isn’t even my job responsibility!” If so, think again. Because regardless of where you sit in the organization, retaining customers and driving revenue is part of everyone’s job function, stated or not. Let’s explore together.
Creating an impactful customer retention team starts by figuring out who “your people” are.
Start creating your team by discovering how a business contract “walks” through your organization. Ultimately, this process embodies the complete “order-to-cash” cycle. Consider how that contract is generated by the efforts of lots of people who may, at this point, be nameless and faceless to you. First, discover who they are. Then, learn their names and their functions. Finally, reach out and speak with them, and not just once.
After the sale is consummated and a contract comes in-house, then what happens? Who touches that contract next, and after that? Until finally, the specifications, logistics and service portions are assigned to your team and other teams. Who are these people? Where do they reside in the organization? Insourced or outsourced? What do they do and, most importantly, why do they perform these activities in a particular order? You know the drill. Time to discover who they are and reach out to them.
In addition, upon project completion, implementation and invoicing occur. A small army of colleagues are responsible for smoothly transitioning these deliverables into your customers’ digitally connected environments. How connected are you, throughout this process? Do you know who receives your deliverables? Aren’t you curious to find out?
Leveraging an impactful customer retention team continues by working with this team every day, to better serve your colleagues and your customers.
Your next promotion is contingent upon how visible you are at your organization’s business table. And, you are not visible if you are buried within your department performing the singular tasks associated with your job description. Your job is so much more than a series of specific tasks. And so are you.
Move one millimeter beyond your professional comfort level. Venture into the unknown.
Learn how “what you do” is connected to “what everyone else does” in serving your customers. Then, let this knowledge impact how effectively you serve your colleagues, moving forward. Continue your journey by asking for opportunities to sit in meetings outside of your job function. Start to hear and see new colleagues, in action, doing “their” jobs. Finally, gain the comfort and credibility to be invited to sit at your customers’ tables, as well.
An impactful customer retention team is the key to employee and customer success, as well as retention. Because when your customers implicitly understand that you and your customer retention team have their backs, they trust in you. Earning your customers’ trust is a powerful customer experience, wouldn’t you say?
You may be surprised at just how involved you already are in the dynamics of customer retention process. Why not take the next steps forward in making the business value of customer retention a key part of your career trajectory?
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset® Storytelling Speaking Programs showcase the power of storytelling for STEM professionals and left brain thinkers to catalyze employee and customer success and retention. She motivates individuals and teams to combine courage, curiosity and critical thinking skills to co-create compelling stories which inspire trust in one another. Especially in industries with STEM and left-brain stakeholders.
Find out more about Babette’s professional story here. Babette is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform. Contact Babette here.
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