A leaky bucket never fills. That old saying has never been truer in sales than it is today.
With customers bombarded by marketing messages everywhere they turn, the need to engage, retain and grow relationships with our existing customers has never been more critical. In fact, Walker Information Inc. has projected that within four years customer experience will overtake price and products as the key brand differentiator.
Research like that is just one of the reasons behind an important change for SBN Interactive, Smart Business Magazine’s sibling company. This month marks the rebranding of the content marketing business as Convero and an increased focus on providing comprehensive customer engagement programs. Convero will help companies engage in ongoing conversations with their customers to retain them longer and drive increased sales and profits.
The launch of the Convero brand is the logical next step in the evolution of our marketing services business. While many companies have pursued digital lead generation programs for the last 10 years, building deep relationships with existing customers is the most cost effective place to look for increased profit and sales. Research shows that engaged customers buy more, cost less to service and refer more business. They even are willing to pay more for products and services.
The challenge for companies is that customer engagement is not easy. It takes dedicated effort, ongoing communication and frequent measurement to grow strong customer relationships.
To simplify the customer engagement process, Convero has developed a comprehensive, five-step customer engagement program called Convero Voice. It was designed with built-in measurement mechanisms that provide businesses with the data to know if their efforts are having an impact on customers and when they need to make adjustments.
Driving customer conversations
In a recent study of senior-level executives, Convero found that 60 percent of companies do not know how many customers they lost last year. By a 2-to-1 margin, however, those same companies rank customer retention as more important than acquiring new customers.
What that tells us is that companies understand the importance of investing in their customers — they just need the right tools. By providing those tools, we can help organizations build stronger, lasting relationships with their customers. That, in turn, will drive increased sales and higher profits for their businesses.
Fred Koury is president and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc., the publisher of Smart Business Magazine and operates Convero Inc., a content marketing firm.