According to Marketing at Work, the average business loses about 10 to 25 percent of its customer base per year. This doesn't necessarily mean new customers aren't replacing the old, but the potential profit of repeat business is diminished.
How much is 25% of your current accounts worth to your business?
To me customer churn and retention is one of the most important and unappreciated challenges facing organisations today.
Research by consulting company Bain showed a 5% reduction in the customer defection (churn) rate can increase profits up to 95% (your 5% of customers is worth more than you think).
This means there is a great opportunity for customer-focused companies to create unique differentiation and access untapped profits.
The question is:
Do you and your company have a known, understood, appreciated and practised plan for existing customer growth and retention in your business?
If the answer is no then I’m about to share an approach to get you started.
According to research from the global consulting company McKinsey - 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
If this is true, there is a great need to get serious about the processes and ideas we use to engage customers and prospects. This includes all the different and defined stages in our relationship with them.
Great companies have a very thoughtful and considered process for on-boarding their customers. I’d define great on-boarding as:
A personalised process for the customer that provides a collaborative experience, support and implementation of service that over delivers and compels the customer to want to share their experience with others.
Just imagine if you could deliver on this experience with every customer you have!
Most companies have an on-boarding process but I want to introduce a powerful concept I’ve called Re-boarding
Re-boarding is an intentional and personalised process to engage with existing customer contacts, strengthen relationships, introduce services, raise value perception and drive new sales conversations.
This is a process your competitors aren’t using that will increase retention and open new sales opportunities
Example: Imagine you get connected to a new stakeholder within your client’s business. They may have no prior experience with how you’ve worked with their colleagues, how your services fit with their business, how your services are being used, or expectations of work and overall value of you as a partner.
Once you get in contact with them you share a simple email with them that begins the process of:
· Raising awareness of who you are
· Why your relationship with them matters
· How they’ll benefit
· How you’d like to deliver value to them and how you’d like to communicate together.
How powerful would that be?
How do you start a re-boarding process?
There are three steps to re-boarding. These three simple steps will enable you to begin relationships, introduce services, set expectations, understand your customer better and raise your value.
· Be clear on your goal. What is the result you want to help them and your business achieve?
· Be clear on the relationship. What kind of relationship do you want to build with that person or business? Who is the person? What is your current relationship? Do you want them to become an advocate? Do you need them to help influence something?
· Decide on the actions and next steps. What specific information, people or decisions do you need to make to achieve the goal and relationship? What is the question you can ask to immediately get them thinking?
If you don’t pay attention to the way your customers experience their interactions with your business you’ll constantly be in a competitive disadvantage. Check out the document here to build an instant re-boarding email and document. Download document HERE.
When should you re-board?
Depending on your business and service there are many times you can re-board a customer. There are two main areas you should look at.
The first is anytime a new contact is introduced. Every time you get in conversation with a new contact, they may not know you or have been told lots about you. Never assume they know why you’re important to them and what value you actually deliver.
The second is when a customer is considering, or has bought a brand new service from you. This is where in the process of helping them choose or after purchasing something new you continue to be a trusted guide. You do this by communicating the exact steps of what they’ll experience, expectations of support, and the options and opportunities to best benefit from that service or product.
Why is this important?
Having a re-boarding process enables you to respond proactively to your customer with a clear step-by-step account.
Remember 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
For key account managers, sales leaders and consultants this is important topic to consider. I want to share five reasons why you should look to adopt an effective, customer driven re-boarding process for each identified key customer in your business.
1. Re-boarding a client ensures everyone is on the same page for future work together.
2. Re-boarding helps to raise your business visibility and promote successes.
3. Re-boarding helps you qualify value and uncover missed opportunities.
4. Re-boarding sets expectations for how you’ll work together and what options are available to them.
5. “People may forget what you did,… but never how you made them feel” Maya Angelou. Re-boarding creates more opportunities to make your clients feel special and for you to become more memorable.
What do you think of re-boarding? Is it possible? Is it doable? Let me know your thoughts?
Jermaine Edwards – Your Key Account Growth Guide - Helping you retain your key clients and see massive sales growth from your high value customers