CLIENT CASE STUDY 1: Reactivating Lost Customers
Client moved aggressively to a large customer strategy in the mid 90’s, with unintended consequences being a dramatic loss of smaller but often profitable customers. The sales force of over 400 was discouraged, especially beginning in the year 2000 when manufacturing activity slumped and large customers reduced purchases, resulting in lower sales and commissions.
A research study of current and prior customers revealed that the way the large customer strategy was implemented did hurt brand image with smaller prospects, who assumed that they were “not a fit” for our client. Research also highlighted declining brand awareness in the general market due to the focus on large customers, but a willingness to reconsider our client as a supplier if the price was right and they could be serviced effectively.
With the help of KIMA consulting, corporate leadership adjusted the strategy to include all profitable customers regardless of size, and used the research to reinforce to the total company that customers were willing to do business as long as their needs were met.
Implementation began with the sales force identifying lost customers and updating all current and former customer information thru individual meetings. Next, each of over 40 general managers nationally sent a personal letter to current as well as former customers—over 15,000– describing the new direction and a renewed commitment to serve their needs. The sales force followed up with meetings in the 30 days following the letter. Additionally, a timed promotional offer was implemented exclusively for former customers, offering a discount on their next order.
- Reactivated over 10% of former customers in just three months.
- Generated incremental revenue at a profit margin well above that of the average customer.
- Revitalized the sales force who embraced the revised strategy that was on target with customer needs, resulting in increased sales and commissions.