Post-Deal Management and Client Retention

Lauren Simonds

Loyalty pays big dividends in business, which is why fostering customer fidelity makes good business sense. These tips will help you increase repeat business. Customer loyalty alone can account for 40 percent of your business revenue, according to marketing analytics company SumAll. Even better, earning that slice of revenue costs a lot less than winning new customers. You’ll spend only 25 percent of your marketing and sales budget on earning repeat business. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to implement a client-retention strategy. As Joe Taylor explains in an article on Small Business Computing, the following tactics can help grow your repeat business. (MORE: Follow the Money) Invest in a Customer Relationship Management System A CRM system delivers the most crucial information you need to know about your customers. CRM can: provide copies of delivery status notifications, service tickets, and automated order requests pull data from LinkedIn and Twitter to highlight your contacts’ connections within their communities and industries help you understand the type of attention each individual customer needs at any given point during your business relationship And don’t worry about finding the perfect program. Start by getting your customer notes into a basic, inexpensive, Web-based system. Measure Results Against Expectations Did the deal that you brokered deliver on its promise? Measure those results and use them to project future sales. Business author Fred Reichheld recommends using a follow-up survey. Ask customers to rate their referral potential on a scale of one to 10. This removes much of the awkwardness, anger, and fear from an assessment. Customer service expert Susan Hoekstra says that active monitoring is a way that you can show your empathy if things go wrong. Correcting problems before a customer complains increases customer satisfaction, referrals, and repeat business. (MORE: Starbucks: A Model of Success) Engage in Transition Marketing Most customers spend the bulk of their time in the “not yet” phase of the buying cycle. Hitting them with a barrage of one-on-one sales won’t do anything to move them closer to a purchase,



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