Customer Success & Retention in a digital world

 

It’s a proven fact, Customer Service processes are essential for any business.

Whether you store your customer list in a basic spreadsheet, your Dad’s ancient filing cabinet, or a sophisticated CRM system like Salesforce or SAP, the ability to track and measure your customer interactions and conversions is a huge benefit for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

But what happens after the initial sale? After the contract term has expired? After 5 years of loyalty? This is the next level – this is your customer success.

So what constitutes customer “success”?

Different business models and industries have various goals and milestones for what this means for them. Some sales professionals will tell you it’s the volume of sales or signed contracts that are the important markers, however, others will swear up and down that retention of clients and the longevity of the relationship is the more profitable view.

Success stories can honestly vary from industry to industry, from company to company, and even from client to client. Our job is to anticipate these stories, and build a company framework for this story to cling to and flourish.

Keeping this in mind, it’s the customer retention  side of things that we’re speaking about today.

“Profit in business comes from repeat customers; customers that boast about your product and service and bring friends with them.” – W. Edwards Deming

Way back in 2014, Forbes shared an article on the evolution of Retention Marketing in the digital world. It mentioned how 70% of marketers rated their retention strategy as “Average at best”, and have subsequently allocated a very small slice of the marketing budget to explore this with.

Despite the digital industry bringing out new innovations in leaps and bounds, only 17% of businesses reported customer retention as one of their main priorities in 2018. In the same report, compiled by marketing giant Bynder, it was made clear that businesses are placing a high value on the development of mobile applications and focusing on customer engagement as paramount.

 

This is really important.

The world we live in today is run on instant gratification – I want it NOW! Whether it’s 30-minute UberEATs deliveries, a quick Afterpay for that amazing dress that you just HAVE to have for this weekend, or even the basic instant messages across social media – waiting your turn is a thing of the past. This creates an expectation of immediate service and, more importantly, immediate fixes for all our ouchies.

And this is where an established customer relationship truly shows it’s value.

In business, as it is in life, there’s much less effort involved in maintaining an existing relationship than in acquiring a new one. A brand new customer can often be impatient and needs the bells and whistles of being courted and fussed over, whereas a solid customer with a prove history with the company does not usually need as much fluff, just good strong support when problems arise. Customers that already know you and already buy from you also have much more potential for growth and future revenue, as they already know and hopefully trust you and your company.

 

This week at Jet Interactive, our Service and Sales teams got together to discuss what customer service meant for us on an individual level. There were definitely some shockingly hilarious stories of bad deliveries, being on hold for hours, and wrong dinner orders, but there were also some true gems that emerged from businesses that REALLY got it right. Throughout the day, it became obvious that the most positive things our team had experienced had been the care and attention shown to us as an individual, not just a problem to fix. Every single member of our team reported having a company that they had a good support experience with that they would choose over a newer, sometimes even cheaper alternative.

Repeat customers have always been valuable for exactly this reason, and businesses in this day and age are finally starting to invest in making “customer success” a priority. With this new push for retention data in the industry, we have had marketing reports emerge that have suggested just a 5% increase in customer retention for a company can grow profits by 25% to 95%.

 

Nope, that’s not a typo.

+5% customer retention equals 25 – 95% profit growth.

 

Those are some pretty incredible numbers, but they really do have a basis in common sense. We as new customers are a finicky bunch, matching rates and services with a fine-toothed comb. But an extra service from a company I already use? Awesome! One less website password to memorise/use my cat’s name for.

In the words of Kate Zabriskie, the customer’s perception is your reality. Creating a perception (or hopefully reality!!) of a strong, solid, service-focused company can be the thing that transfers customer retention into customer loyalty. Forming a strong, loyal, constant customer base is the best and most consistent way to ensure not only future growth and expansion but a solid foundation of clients and success, with limited churn. After all, a word of mouth recommendation is still the best marketing any company can get.

 

It’s clear to see that choosing to nurture your current client base will never be a waste of your time or energies. Treat your customers as the best ambassadors for your brand and your products, and build the trust and reliance on your innovations to help your new ideas reach for the stars, with your feet firmly on the ground.

 

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Jet Interactive chooses to use Salesforce.com to nurture their customer success. To hear more about our live Salesforce integration, or to learn about Jet’s call tracking integration into other major CRM programs and Google Suite, please contact us on 1300 864 958.