B2B MarketingContentContent Marketing

The grass is greenest where you water it: investing in existing customers

11 . 06 . 24

Written by Charlie Boon, Strategy Lead at Digital Radish

For many businesses, winning a new client is the culmination of considerable amounts of time, effort, and money. This is quickly followed by establishing (or attempting to establish) a long and healthy relationship with the new client. 

But, what would happen if the same resources and thinking were applied to existing customers? By providing them with the sort of attention and extra care they deserve, you’re creating a foundation for better business growth by maximising the potential out of the account.

This was key to a recent ABM programme which won Gold for Best Customer Growth or Retention Initiative, as well as Gold for Best Sales Enablement Initiative at the 2023 B2B Marketing Awards. 

In this article, I’ll share some of the key thinking behind winning awards like those.

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Existing customer relationships have the ability to grow and expand – at least they can if you’re nurturing them correctly. And it pays dividends if you do. 

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For example, larger enterprises can often fall into the trap of having siloed teams, operating independently, focused on a specific geographic region or function. Collaboration between teams can become limited, almost verging on non-existent at times. 

In my experience, I’ve seen incredible growth happen in our clients when certain skills and strategies used in one department are shared across the entire business. 

Now, view this through the lens of a customer journey. A customer journey may well span across these siloed departments, but by fostering collaboration you can eradicate silos and provide a cohesive experience for customers. This could result (and has for my clients) in increasing the likelihood of generating new business. 

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When you sit and consider what goes into winning new business, it is perhaps not surprising that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one (this is industry dependent, of course). 

It is, then, quite likely that the time and resources you spend on winning a new customer would be better used by reallocating it to further relationships with current clients. 

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Client churn is obviously critical in being able to do this. A starting point I’ve used in the past is to pinpoint the pain points, or key moments, in the customer journey where churn is most likely to occur. Then you can focus your time working out what can be done to remedy it. 

It might be something like providing incentives to the client or, looking internally, recommending where additional training can pay off. The approach should ultimately be about how to get the most value out of the existing partnerships you have with your customers. 

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I cannot underestimate the importance of mutual trust in a strong client relationship.

Anyone who works in an agency knows that simply providing incredible service and customer experience is now no longer enough. One of the ways we overcome this with our clients at Digital Radish is by sharing positive feedback as well as holding projects ‘retros’ or ‘wash-ups’ (depending on your choice of terminology). It’s a great way to remind everyone of the great work we’re doing together and how we can improve. 

Someone who has helped me to understand this is Brené Brown, which is something that personally I am surprised at! I’ve naturally had a fair bit of cynicism relating to the types of approach that Brown teaches. But, having been on Brown’s course a few years ago, actually, there’s a lot to be said for the ‘BRAVING’ method – an easy acronym to remember to help you build that trust with your existing account clients. 

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The guidelines around each of these points help you to establish a place of greater trust. And from this elevated platform of trust you are more likely to spot new opportunities to grow the business and the relationship with a client – not to mention getting recommendations for new business, too.

All of this helps move you into a more integral part of their business, into a more intimate position where you can uncover the problems behind the problems. As you get closer to the beating heart of the business, you’re able to understand the real metrics that need to be measured in order to achieve success with the work you are doing.

So there you go, my insights into how you can strengthen client relationships, expand your impact in an existing account and go on to win Gold at the B2B Marketing Awards! If you’ve got any thoughts or questions, feel free to drop me a message at charlie@digitalradish.co.uk