Keeping Customers First
It wasn’t so long ago that I would participate in daily discussions about creating marketing materials and trying to determine whether to lead with opportunity or product.
Then, the discussion was to determine what percentage of the message would be on each. Would it be 50/50 or 70/30? Usually, the 70 was opportunity. It was how it was.
Now, it just feels right to talk about getting customers. Happy customers. And, keeping them for long periods of time.
We now create marketing messages that help distributors sell more products to more people.
Discussions about lifetime value of the customer is now something that happens.
It didn’t used to --- at least not very often.
Customers are key. Teaching your distributors to get more customers BEFORE they talk about the business will serve you well.
Learning to serve the customer is an art and science that many companies are just now starting to figure out.
It’s a big task. And, it takes an entire culture inside the company to handle it.
As exec teams, we are used to putting all our emphasis on getting and keeping happy distributors. We look for leaders and we take great care of them. We call them, coddle them and tell them how important they are.
When was the last time you called a customer -- just to say thank you, and ask questions about how you can serve him/her better? What do they really think about your product? Your pricing, your customer service, your shipping costs? Do you have a Net Promoter Score from your consumers?
It’s amazing what people will tell you when you ask.
Of course, one of the problems in the past is that we didn’t even know who our real consumers were. Distributors sold to them directly, using their own garage-full of inventory.
That’s changed. Well, mostly changed.
Now, we ship direct to the consumer. We know who they are and what they buy.
With that little bit of info, we can find out a lot about them. Demographics, buying habits, likes/dislikes, etc.
Between what is available in our own servers (structured data) and social media/ email (unstructured data), we can now begin to piece together a real look at the cause and effect of all our marketing / communication efforts.
Take a good hard look at your customer acquisition and retention strategies.