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The Value of Customer Loyalty

handshake1Our customers should be treated like family.  They determine how successful our businesses will be, how profitable we are and will help us develop strategies to continuously improve what we do and how we do it.   One company developed a win/win strategy by putting customers first.  The results:  They increased their customer service revenue by 300% and put money in their customer’s pockets.  Seem like an oxymoron?   

The Challenge:

Approximately 60% of FOBA’s1 sales came from their existing customer base.  Not only did their valued customers significantly impact product sales, but the service department counted on them to make a significant impact on their bottom line.  No doubt about it, the customer was pivotal to FOBA’s success, but to maximize on the potential revenue from their customers, it was crucial for them to become more customer focused.  The service department realized that they should be generating more revenue than they were.  It was a very clear signal to FOBA that they needed to make drastic changes if they wanted to be recognized as a world class laser manufacturer where customers come first.

But FOBA had to overcome one key obstacle:  Their current process was not conducive to generating loyal customers.  Changes had to be made.  They needed to use an application to capture all critical customer data which was easy to customize, would offer 360 degree visibility to all customer focused departments and was flexible enough to roll-out globally.   By using CRM, FOBA was able to move forward and launch a strategic plan to improve customer loyalty and increase sales.

The Objective:

FOBA's objective was to win back customers, improve customer loyalty and double service revenues in North America.  For FOBA to achieve this, several departments would need to participate and focus on their customer’s needs.First on the agenda was to lay the foundation which would allow FOBA to meet its objectives.  This included:

  1. Developing a standard customer service process which would then be automated using Salesforce.com.  This was crucial for the tracking of cases and returned parts and to improve communication between FOBA’s customers and its sales and support teams to ensure nothing fell through the cracks.  A process would also pave the way to collecting and analyzing business intelligence information for future improvements.  An absolute must for all progressive companies who want to grow and maximize profits.
  2. Customizing Salesforce.com to capture crucial data on customer-owned systems so that related service issues could be tracked effectively.  Developing analytics/dashboards would ultimately give global visibility to critical trends.  This would benefit not only the service group but also the R & D and production departments.   Receiving real time data could alert production of potential quality issues quicker allowing them to make the appropriate changes.  The results:  minimal impact to the customer resulting in less headaches and increased productivity.
  3. Importing customer contact and system information into Salesforce.com.  This information previously resided in several legacy applications and had to be collected and verified prior to importing.

The Strategy:

To achieve FOBA’s objectives, several activities were carried out.  These included:

  1. Integrate the standardized customer service process within Salesforce.com.  Using automated workflows would allow FOBA to quickly react to customer requests and resolve problems in a timely fashion.
  2. Create marketing campaigns focused on advertising the new call center services and corporate “Customer Driven, Laser Focused” tagline.  Service newsletters and promotional items such as mouse pads, magnets and a service calendar were produced and distributed.   All FOBA employees were engaged with, and supported these activities to spread the message, “We are here to take care of our valued customers.”
  3. Internal training of all FOBA departments to explain the importance of the campaigns and that “FOBA must be team-oriented and be focused on the customer in every business interaction”.  From sales teams to the finance department, all employees were aware of the marketing initiatives and were empowered to participate and collaborate.

The Wins:

By becoming customer focused, implementing Salesforce.com case management and developing marketing initiatives to win back customers, FOBA significantly improved customer relationships and increased service revenues by 300% after one year.  Implementing the new case management process was also instrumental in increasing their customer’s productivity through system reliability, product knowledge and preventative maintenance actions.

1FOBA Technology and Services GmbH.