|Customer retention through the pre-emptive strike- Adrian Blackburn|
Thursday, 23 August 2012 08:26
When it comes to bad news, don’t shy away from hitting it head on. If you feel a customer is going to complain or, worse still, not complain about something that is bothering them, then you could lose them.
Conducting regular reviews to understand exactly how their sponsorship or hospitality purchases are working for them are essential. To simply sign an agreement, put it in the drawer and revisit it in a few years’ time will mean they will more than likely not renew. Identify the potential issues, anticipate the bad news and address it in advance. To spot that a customer feels disappointed about their purchase can give you the chance to change the offering and doing this effectively could mean that you keep them for many years. This works much the same way as dealing effectively with complaints.
Even if you feel the relationship is going swimmingly, then a simple sit down to find out the customers’ thoughts might unearth other opportunities or even reveal that they don’t feel the way you think they do. The measure of success is to renew, nurture and grow their spend over time.
As with any relationship, keeping things fresh and surprising with a gesture will always help, we sell the virtues of hospitality so why not use it to look after the customers you have.
When customers feel that you are continually looking to improve their experience, they will feel loved. As a consequence, they feel an obligation to stick with you. Helping to show a return on their investment without being prompted will mean a longer life cycle for any partnership.
Remember a pre-emptive positive strike could be the difference between keeping a customer and them walking away unhappy without them ever giving you the chance keep them.
About Adrian Blackburn
Adrian Blackburn is the Head of Corporate Relations for Bolton Wanderers FC. Adrian is responsible for all business to business sales including matchday hospitality, sponsorship and advertising. He has worked at BWFC for five years and also held a similar position with The Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club.
Adding experience in the Financial Services sector he worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland as Product Development Manager for their £2 billion insurance division with a real focus on innovation with brands such as Tesco Finance, Virgin Money and Natwest.
In 2003 he graduated from Leeds Business School having studied for an MBA.