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Ten ways to retain your customers and grow your customer base

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Nathalie Schooling

CEO at nlighten.
An experienced strategist, trainer and customer experience improvement specialist, Nathalie has more than 25 years of experience in the customer service industry.
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nlighten Blog_10 Ways to retain customers and grow your business_10 October 2017
How do you rate your company’s ability to retain customers and grow its customer base? If you’re of the same mind as many leaders in sales and marketing, your rating in this area would be pretty mediocre, it would appear. Asked to rate their organisations’ ability to retain customers and grow their customer bases on a scale from unknown, to weak, average, good, very good and excellent, delegates at a recent sales and marketing convention said they deemed their companies average at retaining and growing customers. No less than 58% considered this to be the case.

This year’s ThinkSales Corporation sales and marketing convention hosted well over 800 senior sales and marketing executives from South Africa and other African countries. Who could be considered the cream of sales and marketing executives operating in the B2B, B2C and B2B2C arenas attended the two-day convention held at the Sandton Convention Centre in August 2017. This year, the focus was placed firmly on the customer and how to ensure retention.

Delegates completed a pre-conference strategic sales framework questionnaire, one of the pillars of which focused on customer strategy and the vexing question of the ability of organisations, both B2B and B2C, to retain and grow customers or clients. The results indicated that more than half of the delegates considered their companies’ performance in this area of operation unexceptional.

On a more reassuring note, a clear set of measures emerged from the conference that details good practice principles that can be included when strategising to retain and grow customers. These are grouped into three areas of activity, namely retaining accounts, growing accounts and reviewing accounts.

Here are 10 key principles to implement in your day-to-day business activities that are sure to yield some good results.

Retaining accounts

  1. Measure results of implemented solutions to assess if outcomes are achieved
  2. Consistently implement remedial activities to address gaps in delivery
  3. Conduct regular delivery and gap analyses to assess outcomes of predefined commitments

Growing accounts

  1. Put in place a process to identify all customers who need to be managed as key accounts
  2. Create an account plan for each key account customer
  3. Consistently and regularly diagnose new pain points and opportunities with relevant stakeholders
  4. Consistently conduct internal key account planning with a defined agenda to retain and grow accounts

Reviewing accounts

  1. Know what key measures customers use to assess you
  2. Put in place a regular programme for surveys on satisfaction levels
  3. Act on survey findings to ensure you improve weak areas and capitalise on strong areas

ThinkSales, http://www.thinksales.co.za/,  is a company that provides content and solutions for sales management leaders. It is the only company in South Africa that focuses on meeting the needs purely of sales leaders such as sales directors and managers, general managers, and chief executive officers.


View the previous nlighten blog by Nathalie Schooling: Navel-gazer or Let’s Mover: Which will it be?

nlighten. enhancing customer experience: www.nlighten.co.za

Customer Journey Mapping and Experience Redesign Masterclass: A 1.5 day event | 22 / 23 February 2018 | Cape Townview more