Everybody knows that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and your customer service or account management staff are brutally well aware of that simple axiom. They deal with squeaky wheels every day, slathering on the grease until problems are solved, questions are answered, information is provided and clients are purring with satisfaction.
Once the intensity of the on boarding process is a distant memory, its easy to assume that a quiet client is a happy client. Sadly that is not always the case. A quiet client could also be apathetic, profoundly disappointed, lending their ear to your competition or simply taking your service for granted. All of these options are possible. None of them are good. And every one of them is made worse by your own ignorance of the situation.
Unless you have a lot of account management/customer service talent to spare, it’s not likely that you can guarantee that your quiet clients are hearing from them directly and regularly. But that’s what you need to do.
One way to solve this problem is to put into a play a quarterly communications outreach on behalf of your customer satisfaction team. What can you accomplish with this program? A couple of things actually and every one of them is important to smooth your upcoming renewal period.
First off, you simply need to stay top of mind, reminding your customers of the benefits they are (or should be) gaining from your service. You can’t have them forgetting about you, and in doing so allowing (where applicable) your adoption and usage levels to drop. Would you be rushing to renew a service you’re not using? Not likely.
Secondly, you need to look for problems. Seriously. As much as pushing problems under the rug can make for short-term comfort, unaddressed issues will come back to bite you when it’s time to renew. Worst of all, it’s almost impossible to project with any accuracy what you’re renewal rate will be unless you know how your company stacks up on the key performance indicators. Do you know what they are for your service?
Once again it comes down to using communications to measure and manage the metrics that will affect your renewals. If your silent majority of customers isn’t making it easy for you to keep that communications door open so you can evaluate how your performance stacks up, its in your own best interests to proactively push your foot in the door and open it up.
Do it regularly and do it quarterly. Less frequent communications will make your efforts entirely too forgettable. More frequent communications will probably cost too much in time, effort and cash to maintain.