Servicing Customer Databases – upselling customer loyalty
Companies can sometimes misinterpret “lead generation” as purely generating new customer leads, this is far from the whole story.
When we look at a company’s sales strategy we always advise on the importance of regularly servicing it’s customer data base. Now it is important to distinguish between client desire and client satisfaction, and likewise the emphasis on this type of campaign is on client retention and upselling opportunities than just an email client satisfaction survey or feedback form.
It costs about 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to generate new business from an existing customer. Additionally, satisfied customers are the ones who will refer you new business, which is a much more cost efficient method of lead generation, not to mention an easier close for your sales organization.
In fact, in a survey conducted by the CBI, three quarters of respondents reported that 20% of their new sales come from current customers.
This is why with any B2B loyalty campaign it is important to move away from the mindset of design specific customer loyalty programs, to a broader customer retention mindset.
Challenges to B2B Customer Retention
These are some of the common challenges that B2B marketers often face when trying to reduce churn.
- Price Point – Many B2B organizations are selling a product or service at a high price point, which means in a tight economy where budgets are always under close scrutiny, your business’ product/service could be the next expense to get cut.
- Longer Buying Cycle – If you get cut from a customer’s budget, you can’t quickly recover with the longer sales cycles typical of many B2B organizations.
- Employee Turnover – The contacts at your customer’s organization that manage your product or relationship could leave. If they are the only ones who know how to use your product, or they were acting as an evangelist of your product or service, the value you provide could be quickly lost.
Thus it is worth considering in order to improve customer loyalty is to direct the focus not the individuals at a company, but the business as a whole.
Solutions to Customer Loyalty
When we run a campaign servicing a client’s database, there are 5 key components we consider:
Orientation – If a client actively uses your product or service in the most efficient way from the very beginning, it’s more likely they will stay with you for the long haul. If you have current customers who are inactive, we need to wake them up and find out their pain points and what additional support/training do they require. So often a client is not even aware what they need, until that conversation arises.
Ongoing Education – Which brings us to the importance of education. Often the client is only aware or has been shown only part of the functionality about your product or features of your service from which they would benefit. Education should come in stages. It not only makes adoption more likely when information comes in bite size chunks, but it also makes you look like the gift (or company) that keeps on giving.
Communication – Effective education goes hand in hand with great, open communication. In fact, communication is one of the most important components to customer loyalty, and also one of the hardest to successfully execute. That means you need to communicate with not just your point of contact, but also the influencers, decision makers, and other employees involved in executing your solution.
Pain points – Another important objective is to discover what issues or barriers are being faced by the client. These will then require attention in order that the causes of dissatisfaction and defection can be addressed.
Pricing – To say pricing is a complicated beast is an understatement. But if your organization is facing a pricing change, it’s crucial to execute it with tact to ensure you don’t turn loyal customers into angry exes. All pricing changes should be approached with clear, frequent, and gracious communication.
In short conducting regular client retention campaigns, reduces customer churn, increased sales with well planned upselling and improves your brand image and service.
If you are interested in us at VSL running a campaign for you or you would just like some more information please contact us.
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Tags: Database Development, Lead generation