Break out the Rolodex, as we kick off each year we often forget about our greatest and most affordable marketing opportunities – existing customers. As we start 2012, focus on your customers first for two reasons:
- Statistically, professional services firms may lose up to 20% of their clients each year. This attrition alone means that you need to retain more clients and replace what you lose before you ever consider a growth plan.
- Existing customers are the most affordable to reach. A common problem is that clients always view your offerings based on the services that you provided them when they hired you. A regular marketing program to existing customers can expose clients to the leadership that you offer other clients and allow opportunities to cross-sell additional services that they may not currently lean to you for. A basic CRM program, email marketing and social media are three great ways to do this.
With some signs of economic recovery, it is important that your customers understand the full breadth of your services and that they see the wins that you provide your other clients on a regular basis. This way, when they decide to come out of their shell and increase their marketing investments you are the first ones that they call.
What are the best strategies that you have found for retaining existing customers?
Marketing reporting and performance tracking seems like it would be the foundation for any marketing program. But as we talked with clients, prospects, and attendees at many conferences this fall, we find that with all of the marketing options today, many people stand there like a deer in the headlights when asked how they are tracking results.
Not tracking marketing performance is like being on the PGA Tour and not keeping score. You just can’t compete and win without doing it.
Here is a list of six tools for your consideration. Let me preface by saying we define what tools we will use at the beginning of each campaign and these only represent a few that we leverage most often. Also, not everything is easily tracked in one solution, so we often take reports from various formats and pull up our old-school friend, Microsoft Excel, to build custom dashboards based on the client’s specific data views.
It is far more economical to turn prospects into customers than it is to create new prospects, so your existing database should be a primary focus at all times. And while you’re at it, why not take the time to review your processes and make sure that your data has the utmost integrity and can be fully leveraged as things begin to turn. After all, we create the worst habits during the best of times, so now may be time to hunker down and really get your processes refined and your data cleaned up.
Regardless of the strength of your CRM system, it is critical to understand that the people involved in the process will be the key factor in the integrity and accuracy of the data the system provides. When I was a CRM Consultant, we asked our clients to make sure that all parties involved hold the integrity of the data to the highest priority. Without accurate data, the accuracy of your system is flawed.
So here are six easy buckets of information that you need to be collecting.