In order to have guerrilla metrics mean something, you have to make them part of the everyday language of the corporation. You need to get them front and center.
- New Customers
- Lost Customers
- Revenue and Profitability by Customer Group
- Referrals by Customer Group
Don’t bury the metrics in a report; don’t even waste the effort if that’s how they’ll end up.
Employees need to understand the impact their actions have in moving customer numbers up or down, and that is tied directly to revenue and profit.
These numbers need to be talked about, and they need to become part of how you define the success or challenges with your brand.
A powerful way to do this: Create a Customer Tote Board
- Make it large and posted permanently where people pass frequently.
- Make it visual and simple, so people can see the ebb and flow of the customer numbers.
Here’s an example:
When the automotive industry began compiling retention numbers by brand in the early 1990s, this began to put customer retention rates on the map. I kept thinking that there had to be a way to use this information to jolt people into understanding the competitive battlefield. Then the idea of the customer tote board emerged, which did have an impact in reframing the problem.
By establishing a competitive tote board based on the repurchase loyalty among brands, we were first able to collapse our performance down to a ranking among other automotive brands.
This simple math showed the amount of extra work and investment that companies with lower retention rates had to expend to replace customer losses to get back to the baseline number.
⇨ The lower the retention rate, the more customer acquisition dollars had to be spent refilling the customer bucket.
Companies with the lowest rates could see that they were reprospecting to replace lost customers over and over again. It was as if they were running in place.
⇨The higher the retention rate, the more they could use prospecting dollars to add new customers and bring in incremental sales.
The realization of the importance of retention did not magically drive action, of course. But we were able to nudge people into understanding that something had to be done about it.