Whilst they might not exactly articulate it in this manner, most companies (especially those offering software as a service) are in the restoration business. Companies that are unsuccessful to provide a positive customer experience will have difficulties to gain customer dedication. How customers are sold (or how they should buy); how expectations are set; and how medical data are monitored after a sale are factors with long-term effects after customer loyalty and retention.
Knowing the very high cost acquiring new accounts, the CEO of a client I work with has an idea of acquiring "customers for a lifetime. " This may seem to be to be an committed goal for a company in the competitive photo copier and printer arena, but the CEO, whom I will call "Larry, " does indeed more than pay lips service to obtaining his explained desire. He has spearheaded several initiatives to empower his staff to further improve customer retention. In the last five years, the renewal rate has increased from 68 percent to 83 percent. This improvement can be caused by concentrating on three major areas:
How accounts are sold
How expectations are arranged
How results are watched
Five years back, selling experienced degraded into feature-function-pricing conflicts. Buyers made decisions almost totally based after price. When prospects became customers, sellers spent minimal time on account management, except if there was any update or new requirement. Many salespeople spewed features and opinions to convince or persuade buyers to work with them. The most prevalent closing technique was discounting.
'This company's customers talk with their checkbooks. '
Larry decided to create a culture where providing (more accurately, buying) became much more about absolutely free themes, less about the products. Salespeople learned to ask questions to purchase potential buyer's business issues and determine if there were a potential fit to talk about the buyer's needs. In doing so, they usually could establish value so a solid financial circumstance for working could be documented.
Usage versus product
Executives be familiar with concept of spending money to generate income. By centering on product use vs product and using the customer's numbers (baselines of where the customer at the moment is and potential improvement the client projects), buyers have a idea of the cost versus the gain. I should note that customers take ownership for obtaining their goals, and all numbers used are the buyers' opinions. This really is drastically different than suppliers planning to impose their common "value propositions, " which few buyers believe and almost all discount. Simply by discussing the buyer's business issues first, the company eliminates lots of the commodity aspects of a feature-function way to selling.
To move sellers further from asset sales, the business offers service on all printing devices including the ones that had been acquired from other vendors. This offering includes monitoring and inventory consumables (toner, ink, and many others. ) and taking responsibility for printer drivers. By simply offloading that responsibility, customers can potentially minimize failures, which would cause gaps in printing output.
1 of the benefits associated with deciding a buyer's issues is that a lot of the root triggers become variables that can be monitored to monitor results. Examples of metrics that may be watched for Larry's customers include:
Average response time for service calls
Mean time to repair
Unscheduled down time
Typical cost per page of printed output
IT resources required to resolve printing device hardware issues
IT resources required to resolve printing device software issues
The customer agrees to the metrics during the decision process, and they are watched over a quarterly basis. When the hope is that targets are met or exceeded, this process helps to ensure that any customer problems will never be more than 90 days and nights old.
When a lease contract or maintenance contract is due to expire, you can actually CRM system (www.studiopress.com
) gives the salesperson six months' progress notice. Rather than the traditional renewal conversation of the seller saying: "Your agreement is up next month. Here are your restoration options..., " buyers now hear:
"Over the previous three years, your unscheduled downtime for printers has been reduced by forty seven percent. Your average cost per page has reduced by 18 percent, and situations where consumables are out of stock have been reduced by 91 percent. Your contract runs out in half a year. May My spouse and i present some renewal options for you? "
This kind of company's customers speak with their checkbooks. Since putting into action this approach, renewal rates have improved from sixty-eight percent to 83 percent. Another benefit has recently been that when customers are being used as references, prospects are often thankful for the level of the vendor's determination in monitoring results and the fact that the benefits realized can be evidently articulated. Often these results are attractive having prospects quantify the improvement they can realistically expect to achieve. The CEO continues to strive for a 100 % renewal rate (customers for life), but this individual is pleased
about the trend.
Everyone appears to be attempting to be customer-centric in hopes of increasing customer loyalty. To do more than pay lip service to those objectives, consider how customers are sold, how expectations are set and how results are supervised. Loyal customers are a cornerstone to your future success.