Fundamental to all customer retention programs is working with the facts. To retain valuable customers you must know who is running into problems with your products, why they are running into problems, and most importantly who is giving up on your services altogether and turning to other services. The most dangerous are disgruntled customers who tell others not to use your services -- damage that can't be measured.
The cost of customer retention research should be measured against...
- Costs to build trust over years
- Costs of losing a customer who then keeps other customers away
- Costs of a sales force to find new people who could use your services
- Costs of introducing a new product to a new customer vs an existing customer
One happy customer is worth five new customers! Repeat sales are low cost blessings. In this day when many customers have lost faith in traditional institutions, think about the banking industry, for example, building trust back up must be based on real world research. Year round market research is the basis for knowing what customers cringe about, what they need and want most, and where your services can get better.
With us, customer understanding is available to you via a data dashboard that is constantly updated with the latest customer feedback, and is useable by all-level managers and executives who make the crucial policies that affect customer relationships. This is why we call it ExecStats, because it is simple enough for managers and policy makers to use it to see what needs to be done.
Bottom Line: Retaining existing customers is so cost effective that it should be the first line of defense against customer churn. Guesswork about what customers want and need only leads to further erosion of customers. A strong year round customer retention research program is the foundation for keeping customers on board.