Retaining customers critical

Aaron Rappaport

Published: May 3, 2013 4:52 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Education & Training

We all know it’s easier to retain a customer than to find a new one. However, many manufacturers continue to pour millions of dollars into new business development while neglecting simple customer-retention strategies.

In a global economy with competitors at every corner, customer satisfaction is imperative to maintain and grow your bottom line. It is said that it is easier for great service to overcome a second-rate product than it is for a great product to overcome second-rate service. We’ve all been on one side or the other of this coin. When I asked a group of executives recently, they unanimously agreed that they would rather go up against a rival with second-rate service any day.

As sales managers, we must  realize that customer retention is every bit as important as new business development, and it can be achieved at a fraction of the cost of finding new customers.

In manufacturing, we rely on standards such as ISO 9001, which sets protocol for continuous improvement. ISO 9001 understands that each manufacturer is different and allows us to set our own objectives.

Ironically, customers actually know more about your products and services than you do. Customers know:

* What it’s like to buy your product and deal with customer service and technical support.

* What it’s like when a delivery is late, damaged, or incorrect, and whether you honor your return policy.

* Whether you return phone calls.

* Whether your product provides value.

In most cases, an unsatisfied customer can be retained with just one short phone call by a manager or sales rep. However, too many companies take  customers for granted and then must invest thousands of dollars to replace them.

Rappaport is director of sales and marketing for Business Answers International, a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., industrial consulting firm.


Comments

Retaining customers critical

Aaron Rappaport

Published: May 3, 2013 4:52 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Teknor Apex working to keep talented young workers in Rhode Island

October 15, 2014 6:00 am ET

Just about every plastics company says they face a challenge finding talented new workers. It looks like compounder Teknor Apex Co. is taking a...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events