Stop selling, start retaining: Part two

Delta Swan

Following last month’s post about ‘service is selling’, let’s explore four steps to retain customers.

1. Understand them. Step beyond marketing personas or avatars, get into the jobs your customers need to do, their pains and gains. With B2B businesses, I consider all stakeholders within a client business.

2. Analyse operational data, feedback and your people’s knowledge. Be honest. How well do you help customers achieve their outcomes, resolve their pains and gain advantages?

3. Your learning during step two dictates step three. Think of a four-box chart. On one axis you have whether customers are happy. On the other how well you perform (whether they should be happy!)
a. If your customers are happy and you perform well, keep doing what you’re doing. Capitalise on their delight and plan your next offering with them.
b. If your customers are happy, but you could do better, improve your performance and shout about it. Ask customers what should come next.
c. If your customers are unhappy, but you perform well, talk with them and see your business through their eyes. Fix the issues they raise or decide to let them go. It's okay to lose customers you don’t fit, but you must manage offboarding well.
d. If your customers are unhappy, and can do better, talk with them to prioritise improvements. Involve them in your actions and show you are changing to support them.

4. Decide how you want to keep customers happy
a. Stay reactive as described above.
b. Build a culture, tools and governance to fix issues before they damage your retention
c. Create a customer strategy which weaves customers into your decisions, and your products, services and ways of working.

If you wonder about customer satisfaction, contact me for a free consultation. Chamber members get an exclusive one-hour consultation which dives deeper than my standard 30-minute session.

Michelle Spaul
Delta Swan

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