A Formal Process For Retaining Clients

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 13, 2016) — Amazing the blank looks we get from some executives when we ask the simple question; “Do you have a formal process for retaining your clients?” Long pause – raised eyebrow.

Most of these same executives will readily point with pride to formal processes they’ve implemented in many other important areas:

Selling Process? – Yep, Miller Heiman, Sandler, Wilson Learning or an array of other good offerings.

Hiring? – Sure, Targeted Selection or other dimensional systems.

Performance Appraisal? – Of course – templates and key performance indicators are insisted on by HR.

Accounting? – Obviously – often SarbOx, GAAP and others have a lot to say and the entire process is reviewed by outside auditors.

There are many more formal processes in use throughout the organization, but you get the idea. Why then, when it comes to the subject of retaining clients, do so many companies assume that just doing a good job is plenty good enough? Worse yet, we encounter many firms that don’t even measure retention. In fact, plenty of companies wouldn’t know how to do so, even if they believed the metric was important to track.

Recognizing the profound importance of retaining clients and accomplishing continuous improvement in year-over-year retention rates has to occur, and take hold, at senior levels. Once it does, the old truisms hold fast, “What gets measured gets done.”  I had a great mentor at P&G, Lou Pritchett, who was fond of reminding us “Management gets what it inspects, not what it expects”.

A senior level commitment to serious and sustained improvement in client retention, and both measuring and establishing accountability for the results, is a prerequisite. Embracing a culture-changing proven formal process to make it happen, then documenting its value through targeted ROI hurdles, is one of the most enlightened decisions senior executives can make. 

Of course, we submit that the Clients for Life® client retention process is “best in breed” in helping our clients keep the business they’ve worked so hard to acquire and ultimately, to drive profitability.

But be assured… “Client retention demands a formal process. If you leave client retention to chance – the chances are you’ll lose the clients you’ve worked so hard to get.” (John Gamble)

For a copy of our white paper “The Staggering Cost of Losing Clients,” or for a demo or more information on our Digital Badge in Account Management, please contact Dr. Gary L. Selden, gselden@kennesaw.edu or 470-578-3191. 

Steve, John & Gary

The Tenacity Center for Account Management and Client Retention

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