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Our Customer Fired Us: The 1990 United Airlines Commercial

Do you remember the iconic black and white United Airlines commercial of 1990 where the boss shares with his team the fact that a twenty-year customer “fired us”? We do. Unfortunately, the “old friend” that fired him came as a complete surprise.

In today’s e-everything age, it is even worse than portrayed in this commercial. The fax has been replaced with email, text messaging and Twitter.

Every day, Butler Street meets with customers who have been surprised with the loss of a major account. They thought the relationship was solid. They never saw it coming.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It is 2015 and you can measure client relationships. You can measure client risk and we can help.

There are a number of things you need to do to minimize client risk and effectively build a client retention and cross-selling program. Some of you will choose to do it yourself. That is fine if you can wait 2-3 years to work out the bugs and learn from your mistakes. Butler Street can have you up and running in 8-10 weeks with a complete endorsement from your most influential sales leaders. To be successful in this effort, you must…

  • Ensure this is a grass-roots effort. This cannot be a corporate, top-down mandate. It will not work. Been there, done that.

  • You must regularly measure, recognize and reward for client retention and cross.-selling to drive the desired behavior. Recognized behavior gets repeated. Unrecognized behavior goes away.

  • You must provide the capabilities, tools, processes and training to enable your people to be successful.

  • You must ensure that everyone in the organization (those who serve the customers and those who serve those who serve the customers) are completely synched and undivided on the importance of client retention.

This is the single most important project you should take on in 2015. After all, your customers ARE your business.

Are your clients at risk? Do you have structured, repeatable methodology for Key Account Management? If you cannot answer that question quantitatively and qualitatively, click on the CONTACT button and let’s start the conversation. We specialize in client acquisition, retention and expansion. Our proprietary Key Account Management and Client Risk Analysis will ensure you are advancing the relationship with your key clients. We help companies and their people grow.

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