In many posts I've spoken about “get, keep and grow” strategies for companies to grow their business, but one aspect I don't think I've ever written about is recovering customers. Since I'm in the software industry, I've rarely seen customers return so we've not incorporated tactics to try to win a customer back. That's not to say it should not be done, though.
I'm at the WebTrends Engage conference and CEO Alex Yoder discussed the strategies and had recovery as a fourth strategy. WebTrends' announcement to have a partnership with Radian6 points to a solid strategy of recovery – not simply the ability to listen to what consumers are stating, but an actionable workflow to assign tasks and prioritize the social media source (by influence).
We live in a low cost, high volume world and companies have a difficult time managing large numbers of customers that are spread throughout countless mediums. These systems are a necessary means of effectively communicating with your customers, managing your reputation and finding prospects.
In other words, combined, the platforms allow a company to not simply observe it's reputation real-time, but also react instantly to the conversation. This is a win-win for consumers and companies… consumers can leverage their network and relationships to make companies listen to them, not just hide behind a 1-800 number with endless prompts to route an angry customer into oblivion.
To test the methodology, I tweeted about WebTrends during the presentation and WebTrends' own Jascha Kaykas-Wolff just found me in the audience during the Keynote and showed me the mention on Twitter on his iPhone. Cool stuff! WebTrends also announced Open Exchange – their open data platform providing clients with free access to their data via API. As they put it, “It's your data, you shouldn't be charged for it!” (Amen!). They also launched their development network.
Some might be concerned as the the volume of data that businesses are gathering about their customers. Alex mentioned one of the companies he purchases from and that they have over 2,000 data elements about him. I'm not concerned about how much companies know about me… I'm more concerned whether or not they are using that information to treat me better!
Do you have a recovery strategy for customers who have left? It seems that someone who is already aware of your product, your company, etc. may be a great customer to win back… and still may be less costly to acquiring a new customer altogether. If you're an enterprise corporation, you may want to view the demonstration of Radian6 and take a deeper look at your analytics integration to determine if it's meeting your needs.