posted by Josie Heskje on Monday, January 01, 2018 in Office Equipment Blog

We all know that without growth, businesses can’t thrive; the office technology industry is no different. A focus on growth can influence dealers to put blinders on and think solely about net new business. While net new business is important, it costs at least 7x more to acquire net new customers than to keep existing business. It begs the question, are we putting enough focus on retaining current customers? With so many dealers getting into ancillary products and services, like Managed IT Services, Document Management software, or security, there is great opportunity to add more value to current customers. Are our current customers even aware of the breadth and depth of our service offerings?

You might ask, what can I do differently to keep current customers engaged, satisfied and loyal? To combat the 7x more... here are 7 ways you can protect your most prized asset—your existing customers. 

1. Do Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) with Your Customers

Consistent, well-prepared-for QBRs (or even periodic reviews) will reinforce the value the customer is receiving from your company and help you gain an understanding of what value you can provide in the future. This helps ensure 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 chance 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. You will also prevent a competitor from sweeping in. An ‘Upgrade Opportunity Report’ can help you be as proactive as possible. (Ask your GreatAmerica sales rep for this, if you haven’t been getting it!)

3. Select Trustworthy Vendor Partners

Make sure your partners understand the difference between YOUR customer and their customer and are protecting your customer base too. Our Customers for Life™ statement at GreatAmerica puts our commitment to our partners in writing. Customers do not buy from brands they don’t trust, and your partners are a reflection of your company.

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 valued content with updates on your company, new product capabilities or help them overcome challenges their businesses face.

5. Remain Relevant

Go wide in your customer base so they don’t have the need to go elsewhere. Where you don’t have a direct solution, have partnerships or industry resources you can recommend so that you can still help. Be seen as the trusted provider for all things related to their business. Another way to remain relevant is to understand their needs and invite their feedback via surveys or focus groups.

6. Focus on a Quality Customer Experience

Make customer service excellence a priority and put the internal processes in place in order to deliver a positive experience. Train your employees properly to help them be a knowledgeable resource for your customers. At GreatAmerica, we call this the “GreatAmerica Experience”.

7. Provide a Single Solution

By providing your customers with one invoice for all equipment and services, you provide an easy to understand invoice, and keep competitors out.

 

Resources: As you look to the new year, don't forget to reflect on 2017—especially your customer experience. Check out, Reflections on Customer Experience: Four Questiosn to Ask About Your Business

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About The Author

Josie Heskje is Director, Strategic Marketing for the Office Equipment Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services. Using over 20 years of marketing experience, she helps guide the strategic marketing direction of the Office Equipment Group, and is responsible for the marketing and public relations planning and execution for the business unit. She is the current Marketing & Communications Chair of the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) and was awarded a 2018 Global MPSA MPS Leadership Award for "Outstanding MPS Contribution" for an individual. She was also named an industry "Difference Maker" in ENX Magazine in both 2015 and 2017.

  1. best practice
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