Matt Tennison, VP of Business Development and Partners recently spoke at the Conquer Local conference, and was part of their podcast. Listen here, and read more about the four keys to retention below.
Did you know it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one you already have? Too many companies spend all their marketing dollars on trying to bring in new customers rather than trying to keep the ones they already have.
Many businesses don’t even think about retention until it’s too late. In order to successfully keep customers, retention needs to start at the very beginning of the sales cycle.
I’ve outlined four keys to retention that will help you with your customer service programs.
1. Retention begins at or before the point of sale
In order to retain a client, you need to start laying out the base of a good customer experience right when you sell the client. Do this by looking at your core value proposition for the product you’re selling. How do you break that down into simple, easy-to-understand terms? Begin to actually say consistent messaging and terminology that your client will expect to hear over and over.
I’ll use SEO as an example, though these tactics work with literally every digital marketing product. When we train people how to sell SEO, we train them on the process of how we build relevance and trust with Google. That means we do tasks that optimize code and content on site. We write blogs and articles off site that link back to it. But what really happens with these tasks is that we’re selling the client on the value of SEO. We lay the foundation and set expectations for every touchpoint along the customer journey.
It’s essential to start the retention process from the very beginning by laying the framework and value right at the point of sale.
2. Post-Sale Engagement
Would you believe that so many of the partners I’ve seen while working here at Boostability just forget to re-sell to their current clients? And it’s not just for products or services. But many of the clients I’ve seen churn over the years are because someone simply forgot about them or didn’t go out and re-sell them on value or what’s needed.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Clients need to be told the value story over and over and over. Then there needs to be some type of mechanism in place that alerts organizations when a contract end date is coming close, then take action on it.
Of course it’s also important to focus on sales and getting new customers, that’s how a business grows. But it’s crucial to keep the customers you do have and reduce churn, because that actually saves you money in the long run. If you look at it beyond the revenue numbers, retaining customers makes sense from a reviews standpoint and what your clients say to other people about your business. A retention mindset keeps the customer engaged and reminds them regularly of the value you’re providing them.
3. Sales Training
This is all about product mastery in its most basic form. Being a master of your product means that you can break it down into the simplest terms possible and direct and own a conversation to keep it on that simple path. The more you know what you’re talking about, the simpler you can make things. And the better you can direct that conversation to where you want to do.
At the end of the day, sales people need to focus on sales, not on product. You should have a product team for that. Your sales team should talk about value and features, advantages, benefits, and how a product will help a client succeed. Keep it simple, and not full of technical jargon.
What I’m saying doesn’t mean to keep your sales team uniformed. Give them all training with seminars, collateral, webinars, or in person. But at the end of the day, remember that the customer wants to know how your product can help them.
4. Product Sales Support
If a customer wants to get into the technical things that a product specialist would likely be better suited to answer than a sales person, there’s such options available as product sales support. Here at Boostability, we came up with this idea. It works as an addition to your own sales team. For example, sometimes you’ll get on the phone with a client, and you get to a place where you simply can’t direct the conversation to where you want it to go or the questions are too deep. Then you can call into sales support and bring someone on board who plays that specific role of a product specialist.
This sales support feature has many different benefits. First off, two heads are always better than one. You get two perspectives and more credibility. Secondly, it allows the sales person to stay focused and specialized into what they’re supposed to be doing. That’s talking about the value of the product. Sales support allows a product person to get into the weeds a little. The sales person can sit back and strategically listen to the conversation, then reinsert themselves at the right key time when the client gives key buying signals.
This approach works on the phone, and during in-person conversations where you can call a product specialist because they can answer the question in a better way. This approach, no matter the setting, creates trust and believability in your business and your product. The customer knows you’re not just going to make something up if you can’t immediately answer their question.
In conclusion, remember that you need to retain a customer right from the first point of contact. It’s important to be conversational, simple to understand, and to maintain contact with your customers. With a retention mindset throughout your organization, you’ll be able to prevent churn as well as bringing in new customers to help your business grow.