Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

Find, Win, Keep & Grow high value customers online

with 3 comments

Find-Win-Keep-Grow is a simple yet powerful business concept I learnt from Eugene Moreau years ago. Eugene, who is currently part of our newly formed advisory board has played a vital role in helping us solidify our core business strategy in 2009. All he did was drive our attention and focus to this simple 4-step strategic model.

Find-Win-Keep-Grow is not a marketing concept; in fact it is such a concept, that once understood can unleash a spirit of excellence like you have never experienced before. This concept will force you to think beyond the norm and dissect your business model from the eyes of a customer.

Ask yourself these questions (Among several other – Ask Eugene)

  • Where do customers look for our kind of products and services when they have the need?
  • What are the most critical drivers for making a decision to do business with a company like us?
  • What do customers expect from us (in terms of support and customer service)?
  • How can we help our customers grow, both as a business & as an individual (by sharing our knowledge)?

The more I think about it, the more I realise how little businesses focus on the need to Keep and Grow existing customers. While I dont necessarily believe that “The customer is always right” – I do believe that if you dont listen to your customers, you will soon find yourself alone in business – they’d be long gone leaving you alone with your fancy products and services. What then?

In business, we all know that we need to constantly win new deals and continue consistent marketing efforts to find new prospects. While this is all good, who is responsible for looking after the ones you have won after all this effort?

Just a few months ago, a long standing customer of ours, fed up with his IT provider, asked us for a recommendation for an alternative supplier. Before making the recommendation, I asked them the reason for this shift. The answer was simple and straight forward – “I dont think <This IT Company> cares about our business”

Notice the word “cares” – Emotional response to lack of support. Of course this IT company cares for their business (when they bill them), but do they really care about them (After the bill has been paid)?

Honestly, we have been guilty of being like this with our customers in the past. But we have learnt from our mistakes and will never ever ignore our customers need for “care”.

Sadly enough, many businesses around us havent quite changed their attitudes accordinfly. Some even carry the aweful belief that as long as customers are paying their bills, who cares if they stay in business or go into liquidation. This is the cold  hard reality of most businesses – no one will admit this, but as a CEO who has met many business owners and top decision makers, I can tell you with certainity that “Care” is the last thing they care about.

Here comes the broken record – “It is 10 times cheaper to do business with an existing client than to generate a completely new one” – I don’t remember who said it, but you know you have heard this too – and it’s true. I have experienced it first hand.

Change your attitude toward existing customers – Develop a Keep and Grow strategy, deploy relevant systems and processes to manage client relationships and formalise a client communications strategy. It’s never too late but you aint got a lifetime either.

What good does it do to a business to bring in new clients through the front door and have many others leave through the back door? A business is incomplete without the all 4 bases (Find, Win, Keep, Grow) covered. Ignore any one of them and you will pay the price heavily.

This year our focus is to increase the revenue per customer per year. The best and only way to achieve this is to focus more on the Keep and Grow – the Wins will happen automatically.

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Written by manaskumar

January 19, 2009 at 11:44 am

3 Responses

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  1. Great post. The 4 questions you have asked above are quite compelling. I can see how asking these in any business could potentiallly reveal a sustainable business strategy to achieve long term growth. Please add to your pingback list.

    Joshua8761

    January 19, 2009 at 11:59 am

  2. Great post Manas, and not just becuase you mentioned my name. The simplicity of the Find, Win, Keep and Grow model is so evidenced in both your business and in your post above. Many businesses can take their business to the next level simply by following your advice in this post. Well done.

    Eugene Moreau

    January 21, 2009 at 12:29 am


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