Customer Retention: The Art of Keeping Good Customers

August 23rd, 2015
Steven Howard

CRM Should Mean Customer Retention Marketing The world in which marketing takes place has changed, and continues to change at a rapid pace. Customers, customer needs, and the individual motivations for making purchasing decisions are also changing. The natural loyalty of customers is a thing of the past, not just because customers have become more fickle but also because the large majority of organizations do not exhibit any tendencies that deserve customer loyalty. …

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Truly Understanding Customer Needs

August 6th, 2015
Steven Howard

Customer Needs and Concerns Need to be Fully Understood I write and speak often of the need for frontline staff (and actually all staff as well) to fully understand and appreciate customer needs. And, simultaneously, I encourage management to develop flexible policies and procedures so that their staff can handle customer needs and concerns on an individual basis. Here’s a true story that brings all these points succinctly together. A man in Singapore …

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Relationship Marketing

August 4th, 2015
Steven Howard

Relationship Marketing Means Understanding Customer Preferences Relationship marketing is a concept that has yet to be clearly defined by anyone, even though much of today’s marketing literature and many marketing consultants and gurus are in agreement that relationship marketing will be a critical success factor for the large majority of organizations. I won’t attempt to define relationship marketing here, but I will give you what I consider are the key elements of any …

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Importance of Customer Retention

July 31st, 2015
Steven Howard

Many organizations place a great deal of emphasis on attracting and gaining new customers. While this is important, I feel it is more important to place an even higher emphasis on retaining and keeping your current customers. This is particularly true in saturated markets and industries, where your customers have many, many alternatives available to them. Numerous research studies have shown that if you can reduce your attrition rate….that is the annualized rate …

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Taking Care of Customers

July 29th, 2015
Steven Howard

I was in Melbourne one year attending a major meeting of the Australian and New Zealand banks that issue MasterCard credit cards and Maestro debit cards. Mr. Nicholas Utton, Chief Marketing Officer of MasterCard International at the time, had one key message for this audience of senior bankers concerning customers: “If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.” That’s worth repeating….and reflecting on: “If we don’t take care of our …

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A Passion For Customers

July 28th, 2015
Steven Howard

Create customer intensity everywhere. That was the message Lew Platt communicated to his employees when he was CEO at Hewlett-Packard. And that’s the message you should be communicating to your staff, colleagues, and business partners. Customer intensity should be the core of any customer-focused organization. Personally, I have experienced this only once in my professional working career, when I joined the retail banking division of Citibank in Singapore in 1989. At that time, …

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Two Rules for Customer Retention

February 7th, 2012
Steven Howard

In his blog earlier this week, Seth Godin asked "who is your customer?" He then proffered two rules that clearly summarize our philosophy that customer retention is the art of keeping good customers™: Rule one: You can build a business on the foundation of great customer service. Rule two: The only way to do great customer service is to treat different customers differently.   There is a great deal of truth in the …

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What Customers Say About Corporate Branding

January 23rd, 2012
Steven Howard

The recently released The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust study from Weber Shandwick makes an interesting read. Not only does this research study confirm the basic tenets of my book Corporate Image Management: A Marketing Discipline, but it also provides a handy way of look at what the PR firms calls the 6 New Realities of Corporate Reputation. However, the part of the research report I liked best were the …

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Consumers Ready to Boycott Irresponsible Companies

November 6th, 2011
Steven Howard

A whopping 93% of global consumers are willing to boycott a company for irresponsibility or deceptive business practices, and more than half (56%) say they already have. These are some of the most revealing findings in the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study, which was conducted earlier this year with 10,000 consumers in 10 major countries accounting for approximately half of the world's population. Consumers across the world are highly engaged and, while …

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Is Customer Loyalty Dead?

September 14th, 2011
Steven Howard

A better question: do brands deserve customer loyalty? Is customer loyalty dead? In a word, no — although it certainly seems to be comatose most of the time. Perhaps a more accurate answer would be: for the most part, yes. Customer loyalty, of course, differs for brand to brand and organization to organization. As we noted in this Steven Howard Marketing Blog post, a read of the latest Brand Keys Loyalty Leaders list shows …

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