Improved Engagement Maturity Through Preference Management
Eric V. Holtzclaw, Chief Strategist, PossibleNow | March 24, 2015

At a rapid rate, customers are increasing their level of sophistication in their understanding and use of technology. At the same time, they are having experiences with brands and companies across the buying cycle from acquisition to retention that set high expectations for how all brands should be interacting with them.

While most companies focus much of their sales and marketing spend around the acquisition of new customers, existing customers are the source of most sales.

In fact, Marketing Metrics has found that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70 percent while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20 percent.
Studies show that the higher a company’s customer experience score and sharper its focus on relationship, the more likely it is to build loyalty.

A recent study by Forrester Research1 shows a very high correlation between customer experience scores and the likelihood that a customer will purchase again from the company and recommend the company’s products or services to their friends. These satisfied customers are also much less likely to switch to a competitor’s product.

These same leaders see results that impact their organization overall. Customer experience leaders outstrip both the S&P 500 and customer experience laggards. The companies that
focused on customer experience during the 2008 economic downturn — Whole Foods, Starbucks, Trader Joes and Zappos, for example — continued to grow and prosper.

With this in mind, this paper introduces a new methodology designed to assess a company’s customer relationship maturity level — the degree to which the experience offered by a company engenders engagement and loyalty in its customer base.

The rubric aims to reveal how well a given company leverages preference data to interact with customers in ways that build loyalty and earn long-term relationships.

The measurement highlights the critical gap most companies face with traditional, acquisition-driven programs. They fall short on engagement and in so doing, miss out on the transformational sales patterns driving today’s marketplace. With the appropriate strategies and measurement tools in place, companies can harness the power of preference data to move engagement strategies forward and offer better, more cost-effective marketing programs.

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