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You can’t escape the news… ‘rising costs’ … ‘recession looming’, it’s everywhere. Energy bills are hot topic in pubs and there’s a wave of new apps helping us to save money on household items, food and petrol.

In the business world, it’s not yet panic mode but it’s starting to sink in. When businesses are concerned, they start looking at costs. From past experience, I know one of the areas that always gets a kicking is marketing. Do we cut the budget to save money or blast the budget to sell more. Either way, it’s often knee jerk with no clear strategy or plan. There’s no focus other than winning new work and often not the work you want.

Looking back at what’s happening, a lot of it is out of our control. We’ll make decisions based on what’s best for our business. What I know as a seasoned marketer is this – this is not the time to throw money at marketing in the hope you’ll pull in more clients. It’s time to step up by focusing on within and the clients you want to keep. By stepping up, I mean how they are managed and the experience they receive as a valued, paying client. Think about the cost of losing your top client and what this means if the competition takes them.

My take:

The competition should be the last thing you think about in terms of new clients but the first thing to think about when it comes to existing.

And theirs:

It can cost five times more to attract a new customer, than it does to retain an existing one.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.

Where other businesses may rush to scoop anyone, this is an ideal opportunity to focus and spend money on the ones you have. Working together as a team to improve the customer experience for all:

• To keep clients happy and engaged
• To not lose them to competitors
• To get a much better return on your marketing
• To sell more of your products or services to clients
• To get attract more with similar problems
• To make more money (and not lose money)

Changing the mindset

When changing the mindset from attraction to retention, it’s a game changer. It’s the easiest, most profitable route as they know and trust you. There are immediate opportunities to be had and in their untapped network, scope to win more work on the back of the experience they go onto share. This means shifting the marketing focus for new, to the Customer Experience for existing.

It’s no longer down to one department but the entire team addressing where the client fits within their role and how they can improve it with systems, tactics and extra care. When businesses are rethinking budgets, appreciating loyal clients by improving customer touchpoints, is a guaranteed win.

From Customer Attraction to Customer Retention

With retention in mind, a few things to consider:

1. It’s about flipping just good Customer Service to adding value to the overall Customer Experience.
2. It’s finding gaps in your Customer Journey that you can fix to stop clients slipping away.
3. It’s finding opportunities in your Customer Journey to promote your products and services to clients first and delivered so well, they share which leads to new business.
4. It’s putting in place processes your team can relay back what they hear, see and do every day – acting on feedback, making improvements, prompting reviews and referrals.
If you are doing a good job they will buy. If you are doing an exceedingly great job, they will tell remain and buy more.

Best in Business

People still need legal advice, they still need their accounts doing, they still need HR support and a whole host of experts to help their business. It’s not about cutting back or making rash decisions. In a recession, there are opportunities to grow. Where others fail, this is your chance to step in. I honestly believe, now more than ever people will expect it. They will want more out of the experts they work with and this is your chance to exceed those expectations, often with simple improvements or light bulb ideas to really stand out. It’s being the best in business and giving the best experience so they have no excuse to look elsewhere. Long term, it will reap rewards, recommendations and referrals along the way.

For more rock-solid, recession proof ways to retain clients, sign up to the Doo Blogs and our 22 From Doo Customer Journey Series.

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