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When "Winning" Is Really Losing

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by: Will Schnabel (@wschnabel)
17 July 2008

Winning is good until you realize you really lost. Winning new business is fantastic, but failing to nurture and satisfy your existing customers can become the mother of all losses. It's the kind of mistake marketers make when they underutilize internal customer data and analytics to increase loyalty and provide up-sell and cross-sell opportunities to their current client base.

According to a recent study by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, only half of marketers have a strategy in place for growing customer relationships. Further, only 15 percent of companies rate themselves extremely good or effective at integrating disparate customer data sources, and only 6 percent of marketers reported having "excellent knowledge" of customer data such as demographics, psychographics or relational data such as transactional history.

That's scary enough, but the study further finds that more than 31percent of marketers reported churn rates of more than 10 percent, but two-thirds had no system in place to re-activate dormant or lost customers. I guess all eyes are focused on lead acquisition and lead management, rather than efforts around current customers.

As we all know, acquiring new customers is far more costly than satisfying the ones you already have. And during tough economic times, the decision makers you're chasing after are less likely to take risks with new companies or products, preferring to stick with trusted sources and brands they know. Now more than ever you should focus on leveraging customer information to send relevant and timely information to enhance a customer experience or re-engage a dormant relationship.

Use customer insights to recognize behavior and responses and determine who should get what promotion and who needs a little TLC. Again, new business is great. But cultivating existing accounts into becoming potential lifelong customers is priceless. The process may take time, but it's a real winning strategy.




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