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Today’s customers are elephants, not dogs

Don't assume loyalty; increase your focus on customer retention

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in Workplace Communication

In recent years, many companies’ business development efforts have lost their way. By focusing so narrowly on acquiring new customers, companies have forgotten how to keep their current ones, contends Joseph Jaffe, author of Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones.

Gone are the days when businesses could simply liken customers to loyal dogs and forgetful goldfish, says Jaffe. Today’s consumers are elephants—highly social and capable of rampages. And they never forget.

By providing customers with an experience that really impresses them, Jaffe says, you can be sure they won’t keep quiet about it. Consider these tips:

Use the recession to your advantage. Companies that continue to be proactive about marketing during recessionary times do better than their competitors when the economy stabilizes.

Interact with your own web site.
Don’t expect your customers to do something you won’t do yourself. Look at technology as a way to increase contact with consumers. Avoid the trap of template FAQs and black-hole “contact us” addresses. Respond quickly to customers’ queries. Update your FAQ to reflect the questions they ask.

Focus on training.
Well-trained employees are confident, empowered and happy. They’ll give better service and you can trust their actions and decisions are in line with company values.

Give your customers proof that you care.
Let your customers know that you appreciate their business and referrals. Be creative—you don’t need to break the bank to make an impact. Shorter check-in times, personalized thank-you notes, free advice, and so on, cost you almost nothing but mean a lot to your customers.

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