Just like it takes the whole team to win the Super Bowl, It takes an entire company to keep a customer. Effective customer retention takes an integrated efforts of every department and staff member …not just the skill of a single individual.
Unfortunately, most companies still suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to customer retention.
Mixed Signals and Fumbles Create Turnovers
In most cases, however, companies turn the responsibility over to Customer Service, usually one of the most over-worked and under-paid departments in the company who battle in the trenches and do “whatever they can”.
There’s no game plan and single play book that the whole team follows. Sales runs their plays and hands off the customer to Customer Service who takes their best shot.
As is very often the case, sales has told he customer one thing to close the sale. After the hand-off, Customer Service tells the customer something different. Fumble … now it’s time for Customer Service to scramble and fight to retain the customer. Under these field conditions, far too many customers are lost to the competition.
Seven Game Winning Strategies
With a team focused on individual efforts, no game plan and no play book, the company is always playing “catch up ball” when it comes to customer retention.
Here are 7 game winning strategies to make customer retention a team sport in your company and take you to the Super Bowl:
Build A Winning Team Attitude
Customer retention is a team effort and requires a 100% effort on the part of every team member … from customer service to C-Level Executives. Every position including reception, sales, customer service, tech support, marketing, credit and finance, training, distribution and security plays a key role in winning.
Train and Practice Hard
Effective customer retention requires solid training not just for customer service reps but for everyone in the company. In addition to training, every team member should spend time going through drills where they observe and deal with customer retention problems
Focus on the Fundamentals.
Winning football teams execute the fundamentals … running, passing, blocking, tackling and kicking flawlessly. Teams that do this consistently win Super Bowls.
Winning retention teams flawlessly execute the basics too … knowing and understanding the customer, listening to the customer, building customer loyalty and recognition, exceeding customer expectations, engaging the customer through satisfying product experiences, and above all, thanking the customer at every contact or “touch point”. Companies that do this win lifelong, profitable customers.
Find A Retention Head Coach and Quarterback
Every football team needs a head coach and a quarterback. Likewise, every company needs a retention executive and head coach who calls the plays and a signal caller who drives the retention team on the field. Customer retention should be the only position they play, i.e., it should primary responsibility and what they do best!
Create A Retention Game Plan
Build a retention game plan and strategy that is integrated into the company’s overall business and marketing plans. Make customer retention everyone’s responsibility. Be sure to include customer experience management, enterprise feedback management, voice of customer, customer loyalty and recognition programs and other high power strategies.
Create A Retention Play Book
Institute customer retention “play book” that contains policies and procedures, “best practices” and tips and techniques every employee can use in dealing with customers. Be sure to include retention training programs and guidelines for hiring customer focused staff in every department.
The Best Offense Is Solid Defense
It’s as true in customer retention as it is in football. The best customer retention strategy is to tackle customer attrition and retention before they become a problem.
Play to win when it comes to customer retention. Put these 7 strategies to work for your company and you’ll have a championship season. See you at the Super Bowl.