It is more profitable to retain an existing customer than to find and convert a new one. However, too many companies do not focus on customer retention, allowing the prospects they worked hard to qualify and convert to drift away.
Often, with stretched internal resources, the focus is firmly on managing key accounts, which risks letting the smaller clients slip through the net, which can a cumulatively detrimental effect.
“Those clients you fail to attend to may turn out to be lucrative,” warns Paula Bates of Toucan Telemarketing. “While some will have dropped off the map, or have gone to competitors, others are worth reviving.”
The danger in neglecting smaller customers is also that a business can find itself over-dependent on a few, or even just one, large customer.
“It is vital that you validate your customer database, and ensure that the best potential customers receive the right degree of attention to keep them on board”
Persuasion and Qualification
A phone call that builds rapport can accomplish a lot when it comes to customer retention. This means using communication skilfully, and strategically.
“Specialised B2B telemarketing is ideal in this situation, because rather than being the hard sell, it’s about establishing, or re-establishing a personal communications channel,” explains Paula.
Plus, the same telecommunications techniques that help qualify prospects also come in handy when it is a case of filtering a database of existing customers.
“You need to classify and qualify your customers, and keep this up to date. Where your resources won’t meet this, consider outsourcing your telemarketing. You’d be surprised at how effective even a small, focused telemarketing team can be,” Paula states.
B2B telemarketing concentrates on relationship-building, making it of huge value for building a robust, dynamic customer retention strategy.
Inbound and Outbound Customer Relations
Customer retention should be proactive rather than reactive. Whereas B2B telemarketing can often work wonders in resuscitating relationships, this should not have to be the case.
“How you make your customers feel leaves a lasting impression, and customer retention is a key to improving the long-term health of your business,” offers Paula.
“Many companies have an inbound customer service resource, such as a call facility, but an outbound resource can yield impressive results”
“Meet your customers’ evolving needs by engaging with them proactively. Share information with them to reward their loyalty, and build opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling through B2B telemarketing,” says Paula.
This helps build and maintain a good, practical customer database.
“The more you proactively engage with your customers, the stronger, and profitable, your relationship with them becomes,” Paula concludes.
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