Scaling Your Business 80% in 12 to 24 Months

What if you could scale your business by 80% in 12 to 24 months?  It’s already at your fingertips. It is simple, yet it is not easy. Do you see what it is? 



Research shows if you spend a focused effort on retaining customers, you could attain an 80% increase in revenue over the next 12 to 24 months. That's a lot of growth.  Imagine having the right customers (core customer) in your portfolio, and your job was to focus your efforts on their experience.  And your reward was repeat business from them, an increase in the volume of business from them, and referrals, all leading to an 80% lift in revenue…profitable revenue.  Who wouldn’t take that deal!



The key is the first 100 days of the customer journey. In Joey Coleman's book, "Never Lose a Customer Again", he talks about the first 100 days and the experience the customer has after the sale. This is especially critical if you're selling a product or a service in which the customer is not going to receive or benefit from for a prolonged period of time after the initial sale. THAT period of time is critical. 

Business teams are focusing on the wrong thing. 



Typically, we spend a lot of effort getting the customer – finding them, discovering their needs, educating them about our product or service solution, entertaining them, wooing them, etc…, until we get the deal. And then (crickets).  And this new start is the worst time to be crickets. 



In the lag time between sale and receipt of the product or service, buyers start to have buyer’s remorse, second guessing their buying decision.  This second guessing is fueled by the lack of communication from the seller, until anxiety and stories cause the customer to checkout. 



How do you improve your performance in the first 100 days of the customer journey?  There is no rocket science involved.  As Coleman points out, there are three things you can do right now to improve your customer retention performance. 

  1. Be very transparent about what you're offering. No fine print. No bait and switch.  Or you’ll lose a customer immediately. 

     
  2. Develop a written onboarding system for your customer.  Find unique ways to touch your customer in the first 100 days.  Mix it up: email, snail mail, token of appreciation, articles, videos, etc…  You'll read in Coleman’s book, "Never Lose a Customer Again", about an experience Coleman had with a vendor and root beer – a powerful story about how little things can last a lifetime.  Listen to customers.   Understand (by listening) their real likes and dislikes, and then do some unique things that make them feel special and reminds them or reinforces that ‘yes, I made the right decision buying from this company/person.’

     
  3. Be quick to acknowledge any customer questions or queries. If you don’t know the answer or need time to investigate, just say so. Don't let time go by and crickets – and doubts – fill the void.

The bar is not that high. Just treat customers the way you want to be treated. Tell them the truth. Be transparent. Anybody can do this, but we're generally lousy at it. And then there are a few companies that excel at their customer experience, like Zappos, Disney and Apple.

 

Get your sales team, customer service team, and your marketing team all focused on the first 100 days. Remember, customers that stay with you repeat business, they increase their volume of business with you, and they refer others. This is GOLD.  

 

How you plan for the first 100 days has a direct effect on the top line and bottom line.  When you calculate your customer acquisition costs and begin to understand the cost of customer churn,  you’ll probably be shocked. If you're churning through customers you're churning through profit, which is affecting cash, which is affecting value. 



Take a hard look at the first 100 days, because it will impact your cash cycle for better – or for worse. The choice to never lose another customer lies squarely in your hands.

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Tom Garrity is managing partner at Compass Point Consulting, based in Bethlehem, PA, a business consulting firm specializing in family-owned companies, primarily in the manufacturing, construction & professional service industries. Compass Point provides hands-on consulting & coaching to help businesses close performance gaps; give owners practical, actionable tools that drive growth; deliver training to develop leaders and position the business for successful ownership transition - all on their terms.

 

Learn more at: http://www.compasspt.com

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