The Responsibility of Customer Retention: Whose job is it anyway?

Here’s a cool article I came across by Dave Brock titled “Customer Retention, Whose job is it anyway“.

Does your organization hold sales accountable for retention? Or maybe account managers? Retention strategies should look beyond the usual suspects of who is responsible for keeping the customers or getting them to renew or upgrade. Every touchpoint that the customer has with a business is equally as responsible for customer retention. Let’s paint a picture, here are some scenarios where the customer experience could go awry:

  • The shipping department sends out the wrong product or ships it late (once customers hit “purchase” they start watching the clocks!)
  • The customer calls in for help and is connected to a customer service representative that gives them a negative experience (oh Comcast!)…or can’t get in touch with one at all (long wait times, Adobe!!)
  • The customer calls the company to speak to a real person but is trapped in endless levels of menus.
  • The product team designs a product that isn’t very user intuitive and fails to understand the actual product user experience.
  • The sales/marketing team has represented the product in a certain way — but post-purchase the customer realizes it’s not quite there yet.
  • The customer receives poorly-timed emails that are irrelevant (honestly, you should be sending emails by behavior-based triggers!)

If a customer has to call customer service, then something has gone wrong with their experience. The list could go on and on…

I agree that customer retention should not be the sole responsibility of one person or department, especially when the entire customer experience is affected by so many touchpoints. One of our friends at Enterasys discusses how they empower every employee to delight the customer by performing educated and informed interactions with their customers on a case-by-case basis. Maybe more companies should loosen the reins and give all employees a chance to add value with protocols that allow more flexibility.

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