By Patrick McGovern, Guest Blogger
Every company, for better or worse, has a great sales organization. They are called your customers, and they can have a profound influence on the growth, success or failure of your company. Growth within a company is only as good as it can be done profitably and the most profitable way to grow your company is through happy and satisfied customers.
Companies treat revenue, margins, profits and other financial metrics with great respect. Unfortunately, many do not have formal processes for measuring customer relationships, loyalty, retention and satisfaction. In short, financial indicators take precedence – this is the disconnect!
Our accounting systems, both financial and management accounting, say nothing about customer loyalty, enthusiasm, repeat purchases, referrals and other behaviors which reveal customer emotions, economics and buying patterns. Customer loyalty is the key to profitable growth. However, companies have difficulty defining, quantifying and measuring customer loyalty, retention and satisfaction. As a result, many key performance, profitability and growth metrics go unaccounted for.
The question is: why should your company require loyal customers?
The answer is: loyal customers make repeat purchases, refer their friends, family and professional colleagues, provide valuable feedback, provide your business with free advertising and marketing, cost less to serve and are less-price sensitive.
Business owners and managers must be able to answer these questions:
- Are customers truly loyal to your company or are they purchasing products and services due to competitor awareness or inertia?
- Do your customers feel trapped in a purchasing relationship they would rather terminate?
As an organization transforms its culture to one of customer-centricity, new business paradigms and strategies must drive profit and revenue growth. Companies will require customer intelligence and integrated marketing to facilitate business performance improvement efforts. Companies must develop new methods to overcome customer loyalty and retention challenges while identifying new customer purchasing and behavior insights.
- Correlations between your customers and your company’s growth and sustained success.
- Relationships between customer loyalty, satisfaction, repeat purchasing and recommending behaviors.
- Methods to engage and empower your employees to delight your customers.
- Internal cross-functional and communications challenges