Customer Retention Marketing

January 14th, 2016
Steven Howard

Customer Retention: The Art of Keeping Good Customers™

The world in which marketing takes place continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace.

Reduced trade barriers, extensive deregulation across numerous industries, an increasingly globalized economy, customers who are more aware of the choices available to them, and changing customer values are all combining to ignite a dramatic increase in the competition between products, brands, services, companies and, indeed, even countries.

Additionally, customers themselves are changing, particularly in terms of customer needs and their motivations for making purchase decisions. The natural loyalty of customers is quickly becoming a thing of the past, not just because customers have become more fickle, but also because the large majority of organizations do not exhibit the tendencies and criteria that deserve customer loyalty.

Simply put, customers today give their business, and more important their repeat business, to the organizations that do the best job of understanding and responding to their individual needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes.

In this highly competitive marketing environment, organizations need to move from a transaction focus and product line focus to a customer focus.

Highly successful firms take this a step further, by developing techniques to continuously learn from interactions with customers and by implementing procedures that enable them to deepen relationships by properly responding to the insights gained from these interactions.

One of the purposes of our marketing philosophy Customer Retention: The Art of Keeping Good Customers is to help organizational leaders move beyond the primeval and self-centered goals of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to a business philosophy that is more likely to result in the retention of the customer relationships critical to continued and sustainable success.

In doing so, the objectives of the current CRM focus (attempting to manage customer relationships), will evolve into ones more likely to secure long-term customer relationships and result in customer retention:

  • Build, sustain, and cultivate long-term, valuable relationships with customers who are likely to provide beneficial influence over several years.
  • Engage in two-way, bimutual communications at every point of contact and interaction in order to learn more about the individual needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes of customers and to strengthen the relationships between the organization and its core loyal customer base.
  • Maximize these relationships by providing on-going benefits to your customers and being rewarded with the attitude of customer satisfaction turning into the behavior of customer loyalty through repeat purchases.

One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is that products and services are becoming increasingly commoditized. As a result, one of the only remaining ways to distinguish your products and services is in the relationships you have with your customers.

In the past, being customer-oriented has meant operating in order to meet the needs of the typical customer.

Businesses today cannot afford to focus on the average customer. Your future growth, and future profitability, comes from satisfying the needs of your most valuable customers.

To treat your most valuable customers not as average customers, but as your most valued customers, requires that they be treated as individuals – with individual needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes.

This is the true essence behind our marketing philosophy Customer Retention: The Art of Keeping Good Customers.

 

KEY POINT: customers today give their business, and more important their repeat business, to the organizations that do the best job of understanding and responding to their individual needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes.

TAKING ACTION: does your organization respect the needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes of your customers and prospects, or do you see your customers only in terms of the transactions they make with you?

Does your organization try to understand the unique needs, wants, desires, likes, and dislikes of your customers and prospects? Or does your organization consider customization requests and flexible requirements to be troublesome and bothersome?

Do you appreciate that customers seek convenience and do you have the processes in place that enhance convenience to your customers?

Are you in the business of solving problems for your customers, or merely in the business of making products and creating services, while hoping that someone will purchase these?

This article is partially excerpted from the book The Best of the Monday Morning Marketing Memo, available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats.

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