A Sure Bet During These Uncertain Times

by Janice Giannini

With a deep mastering at the intersection of IT and business strategy, consultant, board adviser and former C-suite executive, Janice has been harnessing the true power of IT for more than 30 years. An Executive and Board-level digital strategist at the intersection of risk and IT, she enhances competitive position through vision and equity with large-scale risk identification, quantification and mitigation in an ever-changing marketplace, generating long-term value for clients. She engages with senior executives and teams, particularly in complex businesses where misalignment is blocking their desired success, to develop and execute practical business strategies and plans. Clients have found her especially helpful when they recognize they must integrate an eagle's eye and worm's eye view in order to identify and remove obstacles. Janice has consistently taken on those challenges that others chose to run from. This typically involves those challenging times when failure is not an option and integrating business, technology and people changes must be accomplished simultaneously. As a result, many of her clients are complex organizations who won't settle for anything less than developing widespread professional competence.

Are you currently focusing on all of the following activities in an effort to move your business forward: positioning for the future, backfilling revenue, closely managing operating expenses, worrying about team morale and keeping folks motivated, investigating more appropriate revenue models?

There is one goal not mentioned above that you can accomplish, starting now, that will assist you across the board and positively impact all of the above objectives.

That one goal is to develop and maintain loyal customers.

What if the top 20 plus percent of your customers who generate 60 plus percent of your revenue were loyal customers? A loyal customer is someone who wouldn't even think of going elsewhere, in good times or bad. When there is an issue, you are the first one they call to help solve their problem. How would that impact how you do business? What would high customer retention rates mean to your business, from revenue to expenses to growth?

Once you stop laughing at me, I invite you to take the following journey with me.

Let's say that half of your customers are truly loyal customers, ask yourself the following questions: how would I feel when I get up every morning, what would my day look like and how different would it be from the current picture, where would you be focused, and what challenges would you be addressing?

Some feedback for taking this journey with our clients suggests that unconsciously we have taken our eye off of our customers in the recent past. This results in more problem solving versus proactive outreach. In addition, the flow through the entire business can have amazing results across the whole organization.

Take out a blank piece of paper. On the left, list your current customer retention percent, revenue, operating expenses, and percent of expense spent on problem solving. On the other side of the paper, create what you want as a customer retention percent, what you want as revenue, desired percent of expenses spent on problem solving, and how you would spend the money freed up to grow your company.

This is the first step! Now what does it take to make it happen!

As always, we are here to help you get the results you both want and need to achieve. No matter how busy we get, we will always make the time to help you and the people you care about. You just have to ask us.