With growth, businesses thrive; without evolving, they can’t even survive. Growing net new is important, but especially now, when consumers are more hesitant, we’re all reminded of how important it is to keep your current customer base intact. It’s crucial to have a customer retention strategy in place in addition to your plan for growing net new. Considering it costs at least 5x more to acquire net new customers than to keep existing business, it begs the question, are you focused on retaining current customers? Are your current customers aware of the breadth and depth of your service offerings? What do you offer that can help them succeed?
So how can you keep current customers engaged, satisfied, and loyal? Here are 7 ways you can protect your most prized asset—your existing customers.
1. Complete Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) with Your Customers
Consistent, well-prepared QBRs (or even periodic reviews) will reinforce the value the customer is receiving from your company and help you gain an understanding of their needs for the future. This ensures you remain aware of their challenges and growth plans and have the chance to remain relevant to their success. It can also be a great opportunity to share how your new offerings can help them overcome their business challenges.
2. Give Customers a Competitive Advantage
By upgrading your customers in a timely manner, you help them be as productive as possible with the most up-to-date solution. Staying on top of your upgrade schedules also prevents competitors from sweeping in and stealing your business. At GreatAmerica, we use info-zone™, a platform that offers many reports for managing contracts and upgrade opportunities. Browse a few examples of available reports here.
3. Select Trustworthy Vendor Partners
Customers do not buy from brands they don’t trust, and your partners are a reflection of your company. Make sure your partners understand the difference between YOUR customer and their customer. They should be working with you in such a way that supports you and protects your customer base too. Our Customers for Life™ statement at GreatAmerica puts our commitment to our partners in writing.
4. Stay in Touch with Your Customers
According to Bain & Company, 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to do more business with that same company. Why? There’s a disconnect. Bridge the gap by communicating to your customers through a blog, case studies, or social media. Provide valuable content to help them overcome business challenges. This can include new product capabilities or company updates but the focus should be on providing them with insights and resources that help with their goals.
5. Remain Relevant
Go wide in your customer base so they don’t have the need to go elsewhere. Find out what they need and what they struggle with, and revisit often via surveys or focus groups that invite their feedback. Now more than ever we’ve seen dealers pivot to meet the needs of their customers as they get into ancillary products and services, like managed IT services, cybersecurity, document management software, and more recently, thermal scanners and virtual meeting software to meet the immediate needs brought on by the pandemic. There is great opportunity to add more value to current customers who are struggling to adjust to changes in the marketplace. Even if you can’t provide a direct solution, you can recommend industry resources so you are still a resource for helping their business grow. Be the trusted provider for all things related to their business.
6. Focus on a Quality Customer Experience
Make customer service excellence a priority and implement internal processes that deliver a positive experience. Train your employees to be a knowledgeable resource for your customers. At GreatAmerica, we call this the “GreatAmerica Experience”.
7. Provide a Bundled Single Invoice Solution
Bundling your monthly equipment cost with your services and supplies fees can help deliver an enhanced customer experience via a single invoice solution that’s easy to read and easy for them to manage. This approach also helps you to retain customers and the associated future cash flow and revenue streams for your business. In times of economic uncertainty, strong and secure cash flow in the form of contracted recurring revenue can provide some stability and assurance that payments will continue to flow into the business.
2020 has been a year that’s tested many. Now, more than ever, position your business as a vital partner that contributes to the success of your customers. If you can continue to focus on what’s really important to them, meeting the needs of your customers and helping them overcome the challenges they face, you’ll come out of 2020 stronger than ever.
Founded by CEO Tony Golobic in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992, GreatAmerica is a $2 billion national commercial equipment finance company. GreatAmerica is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica is family-owned and provides financing, third party portfolio servicing, and niche market-focused services in all fifty states and several U.S. Territories and has a staff of over 500+ employees with offices in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Georgia.