Developing Loyal Customers

September 5th, 2011
Steven Howard

7 Steps for Keeping Good Customers. As marketers, we all know the importance of loyal customers. The general rule of thumb is that it costs 5 to 10 times more (in actual marketing dollars) to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a good customer. So why isn't more attention given to customer retention programs? Especially when competition continues to become keener and the options available to customers become more numerous …

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Don’t Ask and They Won’t Tell

September 1st, 2011
Steven Howard

Understanding Why Customers Leave Very few organizations ever call former customers to ask why they have taken their business elsewhere. And that is a mistake. I coach my clients to conduct on-going research with lost customers, with a focus on asking three pertinent questions: have they experienced any problems or disappointments with the quality of the product delivered? Have they experienced any problems or disappointments with the service delivery? What would it take …

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Your Service Problems Are 20 Times Greater Than Your CEO Thinks

August 30th, 2011
Steven Howard

Senior Management Do Not Hear of 95% of Service Problems. Customer research surveys show that only 50 percent of all customers complain about service problems. Ninety percent of these complaints are made only to the frontline person serving them, or perhaps to their immediate supervisor. Only 10% of customer complaints are given directly (or indirectly) to senior management. As a result, top management typically hears only about 5% of all customer service issues! …

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When Customers Leave

August 28th, 2011
Steven Howard

Finding Out the True Reasons for Customer Attrition What's the worst thing a customer can do when they stop doing business with you? Most audiences I ask respond: "tell others why they've left." That, of course, can be particularly troublesome. As noted in this week's Monday Morning Marketing Memo on The Unseen Costs of Lost Customers, research shows dissatisfied customers will tell up to 19 friends, colleagues and family members when they decide …

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Importance of Customer Retention

August 21st, 2011
Steven Howard

Reducing Customer Attrition Is Critical Many organizations place their highest emphasis on attracting and gaining new customers. While this is important, I feel it is more important to place a higher emphasis on retaining and keeping your good customers. This is particularly true in saturated markets and industries where customers have many, many alternatives available to them. Numerous research studies have shown that if you can reduce your attrition rate — that is …

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3 Ways to Grow Your Business

August 21st, 2011
Steven Howard

Key is to focus on customer retention There are only three ways to grow a business…..any business….and these are: 1) acquire more customers 2) get your current customers to buy more volume 3) get your current customers to buy more often As you can see, two of the three ways to grow a business come directly from greater customer engagement and increased purchases from your existing customer base. And the third way — …

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Customer Retention Not in Top Three Marketing Priorities for Senior Management

August 21st, 2011
Steven Howard

Misplaced Priorities The latest Marketing Outlook study from the CMO Council shows that the key mandate from senior managers to their chief marketing officers is to drive top-line growth and market share. As we write in this week's Monday Morning Marketing Memo on Misplaced Priorities, the fourth mandate — improving customer insight and retention — should really be the top priority. The top three mandates of senior management, according to the 75 senior level marketers …

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7 C’s of Customer Retention

August 9th, 2011
Steven Howard

While all customers are unique, and use different values to make purchasing decisions, there are seven common customer expectations for customer service that have basically become the MINIMUM LEVEL that today's customers DEMAND be meet by the organizations which they buy from. Because these are the minimum requirements, they are also the ones that must be met if you are to achieve any significant level of customer retention. These 7 C's of Customer Retention …

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Buy On Behalf Of Your Customers

March 3rd, 2011
Steven Howard

Lest We Forget For Whom We Work Albert Heijn, who turned his family's grocery chain into the international conglomerate retailer Ahold Group, passed away at age 83 in January. He had a great motto, which more retailers and distributors should practice: "You don't sell on behalf of your suppliers, you buy on behalf of your customers. I want my customers to feel fun, convenience and trust." What a great philosophy. No wonder his …

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Taking Care of Customers

January 30th, 2011
Steven Howard

If you do not take care of your customers, someone else will. A goal of every organization is to increase its assets over time. These assets are typically defined in terms of customer accounts, properties, human resources, and capital. But there are two hidden assets that every organization can develop and which are critical for sustained marketing success — customers and brands. I recall being in Melbourne in mid August 1999, attending a …

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