Customer Mapping
VanAmburg Group Customer Mapping
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PRIORITIZE RESOURCES TO REACH YOUR IMPORTANT TARGETS

Your customers are your most valuable assets. In order to allocate your limited available resources, slice your customer focus into four groups.

1. RETAIN EXISTING CUSTOMERS

Begin at home. Do your 80-20 assessment annually (or more frequently). Focus on the 20% of customers who bring you 80% of your most profitable business.

We've all heard of the studies that report it costs 10 times as much to capture a new customer as it does to get equivalent new sales from an existing customer. They're correct, it does.

Show your customers that you value them like gold, and begin to reduce your customer churn or turnover:

  • Understand their expectations and exceed those expectations to achieve 95%+ satisfaction levels.
  • Serve them better.
  • Expand their purchases.

To understand the real cost of churn, look at Om Malik's analysis of Vonage's 2.11% churn.

2. RECOVER LOST BUT SATISFIED CUSTOMERS

Over time, you may lose 80% or more of your customers. Why? Many of those lost were not dissatisfied.

  • Did you not communicate with them so they drifted away?
  • Or did you not have a wide enough range of products or services to satisfy their needs?

You do have their contact information, don't you? Communicate with them. They would love to hear from you, particularly if you can give them information of value and offer products or services they may need now.

But first ask their advice: Why did they leave you? What can you do to regain their business and to help them, now or in the future?

3. NEUTRALIZE AND REGAIN DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS

If your organization runs perfectly, your product quality is excellent, your delivery is always timely, and your representatives are always professional, you should have no dissatisfied customers other than the 2% to 5% you will never satisfy. (And you don't really want them as customers anyway.)

But we are still human, and do fail. Regrettably, unhappy customers keep replaying their past unhappy experience with you to anyone who will listen. Do you know how often this happens?

Yet most of them just want you to listen and empathize, whether or not you can recover effectively or even still resolve their problem. And the dissatisfied customers you can turn around will become your best salespeople.

Neutralizing dissatisfied customers and regaining their trust and business is critical. Track customer satisfaction 100% of the time. Make it easy for dissatisfied customers to reach you, and easy for you to respond.

4. ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS

Targeted marketing and advertising can be effective in attracting new customers. The best approaches vary, depending on your business and market. However, the more personal and consistent your actions, the better. Always be sure that you can easily track the impact of every campaign and every dollar spent.

5. IMPACT NON-CUSTOMERS

Wait - I said there were four focuses, but there really are five. Your last priority is to reach out to your desired audience with branding and image advertising.

If you succeed in #1 to #3, word-of-mouth advertising will successfully grow your business. Until then (or if you have boatloads of money to spare), you can invest in a traditional massive branding campaign to create awareness among the masses, and get them to think nice thoughts about you. :)

Research Secret: It's a rare company that evaluates its customers and fires some of them. When you do your 80-20 assessment, identify the 2% to 5% (or more) of customers you can never satisfy and who are costing you money. Wish them well and let them find another supplier. It may sound weird, but your goal is to service the customers who deserve you, and pass on those who don't.

CONTACT US to help make your research the key to your company's future.

Copyright VanAmburg Group, Inc.
Updated November 4, 2008
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