Customer acquisition is sexy. There is something about the hunt that gets people excited. It's kind of like dating-lots of attention, communication and messages of appreciation. Then when acquisition occurs details are forgotten, communication lags, and words of fondness are articulated less often.
According to McKinsey & Company, 55 percent of marketing is spent is on customer acquisition, and 33 percent is on brand awareness-- leaving only 12 percent for customer retention. Yet, according to Bain and Company, a 5 percent reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5 percent to 95 percent.
Money earmarked to build stronger relationships with existing customers is a wise investment. So what kinds of activities can concrete producers engage in to strengthen the bond with their customers? Here are a couple of ideas.
1: Proactive Communication
Keep customers informed. What is your communication strategy for your customers? Proactively keeping them in the loop on any changes to processes that will affect them as well as any problems with a pour is critical. Especially when there is bad news to be communicated, keep them posted and give them frequent updates.
Some producers host monthly or quarterly learning sessions for their customers, with topics ranging from concrete related issues to unrelated themes which definitely affect the success of the customer. These events include lunch or dinner and a healthy dose of friendly conversation.
Other producers host tailgating events at local sports events for current customers, and others proactively support charities their clients love. Are there any benefits of being your customer?
Being a partner is different than being a vendor. Those who partner with customers and those who are interested in their customer's success as much as their own are the producers who will gain an incredible competitive advantage through customer retention.
The answer to the opening question: Producers should both hunt and keep. But don't forsake one for the other. It's not wise.