It’s a well known fact that it’s far easier to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
It’s simply less costly to keep an existing customer then to market, find, convince, and finally sell to a new customer. There have been countless sales and marketing articles relating this point, along with seminars that provide credible reasoning and rationale for this to clearly make “hard-boiled” financial sense.
So what are some of the many ways a manufacturer can keep their existing clientele happy and wanting more? Briefly listed below are four areas where software can help manufacturers increase their customer retention ratio.
Customer Service – Know your customer before, during and after the sale. Collect information that relates to the people you talk with and have it readily available for review prior to talking with them. People buy from people they like. Show them how much you care and they’ll care about how much you know. Use software ticklers reminding salespersons to stay in touch with contacts – both prospects and customers.
Quality product – Implement software driven quality control checklists that your team adheres to and regularly reviews. Centrally locate them for managers to access and double check the status. Frequently, information listed in statistical format can provide unforeseen answers that solve otherwise unknown problems.
Fast Delivery – Not just for the product, but for the communications in the beginning, during and long after the sale. Delivering quality answers fast and effectively can make a difference in whether your customer continues to request information from your company before your competition.
Fair pricing – Deliver more than just a fair price. Offer supporting information about what makes up the price and about the design of the product where feature changes could not only reduce the cost but add value through product enhancements. Examples like… quality, deliverability, style, functionality, capability…and more.
Go beyond the prospects or customers initial request. Offer unsolicited quantity discounts. Reduce their frustration of continuing to ask more questions. Tell them, “We provide quality customer service and answers to questions you don’t ask for… even before we deliver a product to you.” This could get them to write and blog about your company.
Go further by exploring options that provides cost savings. It might reduce some profit on “this” sale, but it’s likely they will return for more orders and tell others where to get their products from…going forward.
Use software to show information in a consistent format from customer to customer and quote to quote. This minimizes confusion along with delays in understanding what otherwise a “newly formatted quote” is referring to. This can be an incredible time saver and it can pack credibility points when everyone knows how to read each quotation.
Better communications can lead to greater customer retention ratios over time. More and more… buyers, management, and even end consumers want a better understanding of exactly where their dollar or their company’s dollar is spent.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust but verify.” Your customers and prospects may want more information. Help them verify they are getting a fair price and/or more value than your competition – both now and in the future.
About the Author
Jay Snow is Marketing Manager at MTI Systems.