Customer Retention in tough times

No doubt as the recession takes hold companies are at risk to lose more customers than new ones coming in.  The problem:  If you don’t invest in keeping and developing your existing clients – especially in tough times – then it’s more than likely that your business will decline.

You’re no doubt familiar with the mantra that states that it costs about 5 times more to bring in a new customer than to sell to existing customers. 

So the question is what are you doing to communicate with your customers?  Do you have a structured customer development program to up-sell, cross-sell and above all manage your relationships in such a way to make sure these customers – whom you’ve already spent a lot of money acquiring – from walking?

Here are some ideas you may want to focus on:

  • Establish a systematic, formal process to cultivate and grow high potential accounts
  • Create a schedule to “touch” key accounts regularly
    • Build variable schedule based upon account potential (not current value of the relationship)
  • Develop a strategy to manage marginal accounts ( those that cannot be effectively managed by the sales force)
    • Outsource is one way to go
  • Raise awareness of new products and services
  • Under promise – over deliver
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