Mark D. Flanagan • May 16, 2016 • churn, profit


David Skok has posted an extended article about reducing churn by keeping customers happy. He sets the stage nicely: "Because most startups are created by passionate product people, they tend to fall in love with their product and its features. Often this means that they lose touch with the simple messaging around business benefits."

It does take extra effort to reach out and really understand your client's needs, business model, and best ways to make use of your product or service. It may not always pay to make...

Mark D. Flanagan • May 11, 2016 • loyalty, MVC

Fox News has posted an article with five strategies designed to increase your connection to your Most Valuable Customer (MVC).

Here is our short summary of the five:

  1. Figure out who are your MVCs.
  2. Find out what are key motivators for your MVCs.
  3. Start your outreach with a clean slate.
  4. Target your communications to specific milestones in MVC buying cycle.
  5. Make sure your outreach timing is correct.

Click here to...

Mark D. Flanagan • May 5, 2016 • Existing Customers points out that when an existing customer takes on a new product or service they need onboarding all over again. Seems obvious, but many onboarding programs are tied only to acquisition of new customers, and ignore existing customers taking on new products or services.

The article suggests that with modern CRM systems in place it should be within any organization's grasp to track ALL onboarding needs.

After all, losing a long-time client due to brand-new frustration is not good business.


Mark D. Flanagan • April 27, 2016 • 

The folks at Groove provide help desk software, so they live right in the midst of the world of customer relationships. So when they publish a list of 10 great examples of onboarding, and each comes with a specific case to illustrate, that's worth reading.

Here is our quick summary, but we suspect that once you scan that you'll want to check out the full post at the Groove blog.

Below is our quick summary version of how to make that critical first customer experience a postive one, starting with this: the critical time is between when they sign up and their first success...

Mark D. Flanagan • April 20, 2016 • price, relationship

Arthur Middleton Hughes of the Database Marketing Institute has written a article that suggests that companies should make a clear distinction between two types of customers: Transaction Buyers, who buy only based on price, and Relationship Buyers, who buy based on the quality of product, service, and reputation.

Hughes points out that the concept of attracting new customers solely with low prices rarely works: those new customers will always hop to the next low price vendor, and never contribute much to profits.


Mark D. Flanagan • April 13, 2016 • Customer Data, Journey Map

B2C, or Business2Community, has published an article with four essential ways to keep customers, and some statistics to back up the importance of keeping your customers happy.

You work hard to GET your customers, but if, for reasons you didn't predict, they have a bad experience - they won't be back in 72% of cases.

Here is a short summary of B2C's four ways to KEEP your customers:

  1. Integrate Your Data
    If a call center gets one stream of data, and a email service a different stream, it is critical to combine those in a meaningful way.
  2. ...
Mark D. Flanagan • April 6, 2016 • change, customer-service

Micah Solomon, who consults on customer service problems, has put together his top ten list of avoidable issues that cause customers to leave.

Here is a bare-bones summary of his list, and if any of these sounds suspiciously interesting to you, better read the full article:

  1. You haven’t kept up with changing customer expectations of speed.  
  2. You don’t offer customers the self-service they’ve grown accustomed to elsewhere.
  3. You haven’t improved your return policies and...
Mark D. Flanagan • March 23, 2016 • 

Aaron Agius has posted an article at listing 4 ways that onboarding can insure success for startups. His four main points are:

  1. Encourage positive experiences. If a customer's first taste of your system is bad, that is going to be difficult or impossible to overcome.
  2. Get to know your customer. The onboarding process puts you in direct touch with customers so you learn what their real...
Mark D. Flanagan • February 27, 2016 • onboarding, churn

B2C, short for Business to Community, has a article about ways to decrease customer churn. Their five recommendations might seem obvious, but I bet in the "heat of battle" these solid ideas get lost. In summary, they are:

  1. Understand Product Usage Patterns
    What is the customer really doing with the system?
  2. Watch for Organizational Changes
    The guy you trained is gone!
  3. Build Relationships High and Wide
    See the last point.
  4. Improve the Onboarding Process
    Don't set it...
Mark D. Flanagan • February 27, 2016 • onboarding, analytics

Evergage has put out a list of 9 mistakes to avoid with onboarding, and by the looks of it, they have the scars to prove their depth of experience. Here is the their list, in short summary:

  1. False Promises
  2. Delayed Response
  3. Shooting from the Hip
  4. Ignoring Analytics
  5. Treating Customers Like Numbers
  6. Complicated Pricing
  7. A Lengthy Sign-Up Process
  8. Static Messaging
  9. Making Assumptions About Your Customers

They conclude with this solid bit of advice "While no two customer onboarding strategies will be...