Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals



Customer Experience

April 26th, 2010

7 Ways to Keep Your Existing Customers

Author and Speaker Mark Holmes ask us if customer loyalty is increasing, and looks at how you can keep existing business, or create new sales opportunities.

During these uncertain times, is it possible that some of your customer’s are less likely to switch loyalties to another supplier, even if that supplier ‘might’ offer some advantages?

Do you see customer loyalty on the rise? Some of my clients do and have expressed this view to me recently.

One client recently passed this story alongwhen his sales force blitzes a new territory for their product line, out of 300+ contacts they now only yield 1 or 2% new customers! In the past this was apparently much higher. And get this, he wasn’t referring to a direct-mail blitz, but rather, personal contacts in the field. His company has earned a stellar reputation in the marketplace, and has among the highest quality as well as lowest price points, but still finds receptivity to doing business with a new supplier much more difficult to achieve.

What factors may be driving increased customer loyalty today? Well, according to some studies (Harvard Business Review, July-Aug 2009) trust in business is running much lower than in previous years.

So, if decision-makers trust other businesses less, doesn’t it seem possible that they might be less likely to consider switching to new vendors? While resistance to changing suppliers has always been evident in competitive B2B markets, it may just be on the rise.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can ride this wave of mistrust and come out ahead.

7 Ways to Keep Existing Customers and/or Land New Ones:

  • Find ways to build and earn more trust in the initial phase of your sales cycle with prospects. Offer to do lunch and learns, provide case studies of your results, provide a steady stream ofcustomer testimonials.
  • Give the sales cycle longer intervals than in the past. If your sales cycle is six months, give it nine or twelve when soliciting a prospect who has never done business with your company before now.
  • Work hard to earn the trust of your current customers. Realize that new competitors are likely entering your marketplace in search of business, due to declining sales in their own niche. Ramp up your efforts to retain current customers.
  • Create and deliver new, added value to your existing customers—making it more difficult for competitors to woo them away.
  • Regularly dialogue with your customers. Find out if there are ways you can improve your deliverables, then do it. This will help solidify their loyalties down the road.
  • Aggressively manage your sales and marketing efforts. Difficult times call for new, creative problem solving if you expect to remain competitive in the future.
  • Turn your sales force (or advertising agency/marketing department) into a gatherer of market-driven information that can aid your strategy development. Marketplace advantages enjoy shorter lifecycles and must be replaced with new, more effective ones.

About the Author

Mark Holmes

Mark Holmes helps companies increase sales, service and employee performance. He advises, speaks to and coaches some of America’s most successful small and large companies.

His advanced ideas on employee retention, customer service and increasing sales have been widely featured in major national media like FOX Business, the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News and The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of the bestseller Wooing Customers Back (3rd ed.) and The People Keeper. 

Email: Mark@ManageMyEmployees.com 

 






 
 

 
unified

Analyst Research Highlights Need To Provide A Unified Customer Experience

We look at the findings from the recent research commissioned from IDC looking at how retailers can improve their sales and customer retention through improved multichannel planning and customer service cites the fact that sto...
by Ariel Lüdi
0

 
 
customers right

It’s not about the customer…

Customer service is a sometimes long-forgotten asset. To create unforgettable customer service, you need to begin with unforgettable employee experiences. In this video, John explains more  
by John Hersey
0

 
 
road to cm experience

The Road to Customer Loyalty

Customer satisfaction has long been the predominant measure of a company’s success. While it’s important to satisfy the customers your business serves, perhaps the most important measure of success for businesses—large a...
by Peggy Carlaw
0

 

 
behavior impacting

How is your behaviour impacting customer loyalty?

As business owners we’re constantly looking for ways to engage our customers in a meaningful way that keeps them loyal, and ensures they buy more from us, more frequently. The process of measurement and rewarding might be don...
by Joel Norton
0

 
Advertisement
 
50 facts

50 Facts about Customer Experience

Following from the success of our past article “23 facts about customer loyalty and customer satisfaction” we have compiled a list of 50 facts that you should know about customer experience to help you follow the t...
by James Digby
57

 

 

Loyalty without Bribery

Author Glenn Harrington of Articulate explains to Return on Behavior Magazine how to develop loyalty schemes and work with the information without having to bribe customers for their business. Phrases such as points program, ...
by Glenn Harrington
2

 
 

Building lasting and profitable customer dynamic engagements

The Internet is changing the way businesses engage with their customers. No longer is the front desk or the telephone the only means of interacting with customers. Today, the Web has become an important, and transformational pl...
by Allan Tan
0

 

 

Quit Treating Customers Like Terrorists

Now that’s a strong statement, however, author Marianna Chapman, President of HALO Business Advisors looks at why this is very relevant today in all the different industries. Terrorists are folks with whom we should never neg...
by Marianna Chapman
0

 
 
5minutes value

5 minutes on the value of customer service

Lee Martin, the Managing Director of Toojays Training & HR Consultancy looks at how valuable customer service is, and what steps you can take to change. Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. However, in a ...
by Lee Martin
0

 
 

The Gravity of Customer Experience Enhancement

Speaker and organizational consultant Joesph Michelli shares with us how important customer loyalty is to a business. My first job in organizational development was in healthcare. More than two decades later (I can’t possibly...
by Joseph Michelli
2

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: