Customer Retention

As a result, it’s highly likely that many organizations’ customer status assumptions from even just six months ago are wrong. Indeed, market leaders are now developing new strategies – both across the board and individually tailored to specific customers – to maximize satisfaction, retention and loyalty.

Unquestionably, current fact-based business intelligence is the key enabler of effective strategy development. That’s why customer satisfaction surveys play such a critical role in maintaining loyalty in challenging times such as these. Some organizations even expand their standard satisfaction survey questionnaire to garner new strategy-inspiring data. For example, your next customer satisfaction survey could help you answer:

  • Which of our customers are truly loyal, generally satisfied, on the fence, or unhappy? Equally important, why? How can we enhance the good and eliminate the not-so-good in our performance?
  • How is the economy specifically affecting our customers’ decision-making and buying patterns? How will these changes affect the demand levels and sales cycles of our portfolio offerings? How do we best respond to those changes? Will customers be downsizing and, if so, will we be interacting with different people?
  • Do we provide enough flexibility in our portfolio? Are our offerings scalable enough in features and price so that customers can adopt and embrace them at their own pace? As customers’ needs shift, can we affordably introduce new offerings or “lite” versions of current offerings to provide new value?
  • What are the new risks that customers are facing and is it possible we can help absorb some of those? Are our contracts and terms not only competitive, but favorable? Would it make a meaningful difference to customers if we spread out their payments more and demand less upfront?
  • Is our value proposition strong enough? Can we reduce the costs of meeting customers’ needs through maintenance, upgrades, bundles, and so forth?
  • Are our customer communications still effective? How clearly are we reinforcing the benefits of doing business with us? Have we correctly prioritized our messages and are we communicating frequently enough? Are customers aware of all the ways in which we could help them, or only those offerings they currently purchase?

In a recessionary economy, timely and flexible execution of smart customer-retention strategies can mean the difference between failing, barely surviving, turning a profit, and actually growing. Those that act quickly on thoughtful customer research will be better armed to succeed. In fact, not acting quickly could be dangerous to the health of your organization.

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