With Customers, Think Lifetime

Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150During the lifetime of a customer relationship, your company benefits from a stream of revenue and profitability that is progressively more difficult to replace if lost. Investing in customer support strengthens your relationships, increasing each customer’s lifetime value

With customers, think lifetime, all of the time.

Customer support is not a cost center, it’s a profit center. When companies measure their investment in customer support, they often track the cost per hour or other support function metrics.  But their business would gain more insight by measuring retained customer dollars as the return on their support investment.

Understanding the distinctive value that each customer seeks to deliver to their served market, and appreciating how each prospers and grows, is more vital to your success than ever before. It’s not enough to treat customers with respect and urgency – you must know how your business helps build their business. Each interaction is another opportunity to increase the value of your relationship. This commitment is what creates enduring customer relationships. When the value chain is sustained, both organizations benefit and lifetime value increases; but every time the chain is broken, the customer and you both lose value.

In our highly connected marketplace, every customer has an effortless means for telling the world about their unhappy experience with you. Think about a time when a supplier’s support frustrated and disappointed you. Minutes before you experienced this negative interaction that supplier knew you and had some idea about how they produced value for you; but now your relationship is in jeopardy. Rather than recognizing your need for support as an opportunity to increase the value of your relationship, they chose to punish you, breaking the lifetime value chain.

Trust is hard to recover so it’s best not to lose it in the first place. Enduring relationships drive growth and profitability. Monitoring support metrics is fine, but nurturing lifetime value with customers involves a personal commitment, an emotional bond, and a vigilant awareness about how you can help your customer succeed.

With customers, think lifetime, all of the time.

What are the key moments in your business when you might break the chain? 

What would trigger you to intervene in such moments, to invest in the relationship rather than punishing the customer?

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