Archives for April 2014

Some Quick Thoughts on Customer Retention

I firmly believe that if print providers want to grow their sales, the first order of business should be a greater focus on client retention efforts. A marketing strategy that places a greater emphasis on client retention than on new client acquisition will yield the greatest results.

I’ve included my thoughts to accompany some interesting statistics below.

  • Acquiring new clients costs 5 times more than retaining existing ones.
  • 68% of customers leave because they perceive you are indifferent to them1. Customers need constant assurances that their business is appreciated. Your competition is doing all they can to make them feel wanted. How do your retention efforts stack up?
  • 50% of people prefer the convenience of electronic interaction over face-to-face2. Do you have an effective online strategy for staying engaged with existing clients?
  • A 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 75%3. Wow, think about the cumulative effect of that.
  • Repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers4. If you’re a printer, think about how much easier it is to promote additional services once you have established trust.
  • If you resolve a complaint quickly, 9 out of 10 customers will do business with you again. See next point.
  • Almost 50% of people are less inhibited about complaining once they get online. How many printers have an online (email, landing page) customer satisfaction process that they utilize for each completed job?
  • 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience but only 8% of their customers agree.5 This one should floor you. Printers should note that the customer experience often starts with your website.

The most effective way to retain customers to not lose touch with them. Stay engaged electronically, with print and in person. It just requires a plan and a commitment. If you would like discuss customer retention marketing strategies, please reach out to me anytime at pat@greatreachinc.com.

1retentionofcustomers.com, 2emarketer.com, 3bain.com, 4Laura Lake, 5Bain & Company from Harvard Management Update

If I Were A Printer

Here are some things I would absolutely do.

  1. I would make sure that my website was better than any of my competitors. I’d obsess about this. Plan at least quarterly meetings to discuss and implement improvements. Make sure that new content was being added at least monthly and solicit feedback from clients and others outside company.
  1. I would send out a print newsletter at least every 90 days.
  1. I would send out an email newsletter at least every month.
  1. I would add short videos to my website focusing on recent projects, success stories and tutorials. All under 2 minutes.
  1. I would utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to engage my audience.
  1. I would learn about and develop a LinkedIn strategy. For my business, it’s the #1 source of traffic to my website. No reason it can’t be for yours, as well.
  1. I would have my website audited for SEO at least once a year by Marcia Morgan. Marcia has a great knowledge of both the print industry and SEO.
  1. I would host quarterly webinars. Short, 30 minute events on relevant topics.
  1. I would network. Joining groups and associations that harbor potential clients.
  1. I would host events, both educational and networking ones.
  1. I would always be learning, and I’d follow Print Firm‘s blog. Katherine Tattersfield is a tremendous source of knowledge.
  1. I would always have a live person answering phones and I would invest in training for this person. As Dave Thomas (Wendy’s founder) used to say, “the first bite and the last bite are what people remember most.”
  1. I would post a letter (Customer Bill of Rights?) from me (President) on the website and provide my contact info. This is very effective for fostering trust.
  1. I would send an email follow-up survey after every completed job.

I am not a printer. I’d like to hear your feedback and additions to this list. I’ll compile them and share with everyone who replies. You can reach me at pat@greatreachinc.com.

You can also download a free copy of my report, 10 Marketing Ideas to Help Printers Prosper in 2014.