Six things I’ve learned during this recession
Over the years I’ve discovered business is more fun when times are flush. But I’ve also learned a lot in times when customers are pinching pennies. What I’ve learned in past year may seem obvious at first – but if everyone was following these lessons, nobody would need us.
1. Take good care of the customers you have. They don’t want to switch vendors if they don’t have to – it’s time consuming and disruptive. We work hard at customer happiness and in this miserable business climate the loyalty of our customers seems better than ever.
2. Segmenting customers and contacting them based on their needs is one excellent customer care tactic. (You can’t cut costs forever). Dollar for dollar a differentiated customer contact strategy is a better way to improve revenue and profits.
3. There is new business out there. We’ve been aggressive about pursuing companies who need what we offer – a fast, easy, affordable way to increase the lifetime value of customers – and our business has grown this year.
4. Keep on innovating. In ten years we’ve never seen an end to where technology can take the science of customer prediction. Refining and polishing has become a way of life for us. New iterations of Longbow are under development as I write this.
5. Testing is easy. What’s hard is executing a differentiated contact strategy. Creating mutiple offers. Getting mutiple email streams in place. We’re working on ways to make the hard part easier.
6. Willy Sutton was right. He robbed banks because ‘that’s where the money is.’ We focus on customers for the same reason. Acquisition is important. But dollar for dollar you’ll get better return investing in customers you already have.