Jackie Huba has a great Q and A with Jeanne Bliss, the author of “I Love You More Than My Dog”: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.“ There’s a lot of meat in the interview (and probably in the book as well), but the real nugget is this reminder to pay more attention to serving existing customers than to pursuing new ones:
Q: Do companies need to be customer-driven to grow?
A: Companies forget that customers keep them in business. Customers who love companies grow them. To understand this, think of customer math — a rigorous way to track incoming customers by volume and value and then reconcile that number with the lost customers in that same period, comparing incoming and outgoing customer volume and value. The ‘aha moment’ comes when the math reveals that company marketing dollars are spent replacing customers lost rather than growing the business with the addition of new customers. In essence, many companies are running in place. I believe in elevating customers as the asset of the business. That means creating a competency for rigor around a) identifying and getting rid of those things driving customers away; and then b) getting really great at specific things that create a distinct memory and impression about a company and its people. We forget the fact that it’s the creation of those memories that we make on purpose or accidentally through our operations decisions or policy choices that connect or repel us from customers.
More on this in a few weeks…