In past blogs I have explained the importance of shifting perspectives to provide meaningful value to your customers. A focus on the experience of your customers can provide actionable insights into the successes and short fallings of your business, as well as help foster brand loyalty over time. But how do you take those identified successes and create recurring, lucrative opportunities for your organization?
Repeat customers are an enormous – and often largely untapped – opportunity for any business. Most leaders are familiar with the 80-20 rule, or Pareto principle, which states that 80% of your business’ future profits will be reaped from just 20% of your total customer base. Combine that with recent statistics indicating that acquiring new business is on average 6 to 7 times more expensive, you are 60-70% more likely to sell to a current customer compared to just 5-20% with a prospect, and, on average, an existing client spends 33% more with your business than a fresh lead, and it becomes a no brainer to facilitate a successful engagement model to nurture your current client base.
Most businesses feel the path to repeat revenue is through customer service, and while that is a key factor – shoddy service rarely yields reoccurring profits – I would beg to argue that cultivating a culture that focuses the customer’s experience through a continuous engagement model is far more essential. By devoting a resource at every touch point in the client cycle, extending past the point of sale, you will effectively facilitate continuous business through closely-held and well-cared for customers that feel heard and important. Your organization likely offers more than one product or service, and over the life of the customer, their needs will evolve and change, providing you with an opportunity to use your already “open door” relationship to cross- and up-sell additional or complementary services. Additionally, this customer nurture style provides your customer service team with the ability to proactively respond to any issues or arising questions for superior client satisfaction.
Again, perspective is everything. In order to drive success in your business with a continual engagement initiative for your current customer base, you must view customer value on a lifetime spectrum rather than simply by transactions. Your designated customer success resources are not there to push further sales immediately, but rather to nurture the relationship and build trust with the understanding that additional revenue will be generated over time by remaining in touch – and front of mind. Developing long-term, profitable relationships requires a devoted team and commitment to this shift in mindset. Now, that is not to say that new lead generation should be completely neglected within your organization; both play important factors in driving the success of your business. But splitting resources between existing and new development opportunities can be a key differentiator for ensuring overall customer success, which will ultimately drive your overall organizational success and bottom line.
Sandi Piatz is the Director of Business Development
and Client Success Management with Eide Bailly
Technology Consulting. With more than 16 years’
experience in the technology industry, Sandi
specializes in driving business opportunities and
developing valuable relationships, with a focus on
understanding organizations’ business objectives
and aligning their technology initiatives.