Most B2B marketers are primarily focused on customer acquisition. This is no surprise since the core function of marketing is to support sales in lead-to-revenue conversion. Unfortunately, many marketers heavily focus on acquisition to the detriment of retention. A strong customer acquisition strategy must be augmented by an effective, customer-centric retention strategy to sustain long-term growth. Without this dual focus, your marketing team will have to battle poor customer reviews, negative word-of-mouth and an increasingly damaged reputation. This can significantly impact marketing’s ability to drive future revenue. Thus, marketing has a concrete stake in the effective development and deployment of its company’s retention strategy.

Customer retention isn’t a single event that happens at contract renewal. It’s an ongoing process that starts at the point of purchase. It encompasses the customer’s experience between the first and subsequent purchase engagements. While retention is directly measured by renewals or repurchases, it’s influenced by the ongoing interaction between you and your customers.

A customer retention strategy will look and operate differently across organizations. However, there are some core concepts that can and should be applied during the development process.

If you incorporate these 5 components in your retention strategy, you’ll be able to minimize negative customer experiences. However, you won’t be able to eliminate them entirely. Someone will inevitably express their dissatisfaction with your company, service or product. Make sure you have a solid foundation of customer-centric retention programs in place to handle these circumstances. After all, whether you keep a dissatisfied customer is often based on how you react to their negative experience, not the experience itself.

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