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How can you keep your customers? Listen to them

Listen your customers, and they won't leave you: don't take it for granted, as suggested by Joe Bolger, MD at strategic insight agency Intellexo.

CRM in Exhibition World

"We have a great opportunity to really get to grips with what happens when customers leave or opt against doing business with us" - Bolger said to Exhibition News ((May 2017). "We rightly celebrate our successes (and in our industry there are many of those) but do we really spend enough time trying to understand lost opportunities?" he asks. Probably the answers is negative, as demonstrated by RefTech's research that we reported: most of exhibitors collect leads but don't follow up on it, losing possible sales and opportunities to build a strong relationship with them. But, "only by interrogating what went wrong can you get to a 100 per cent success rate". So, how can organisers and exhibitors retain their customers and keep them coming back? "Investing time in really understanding what issues exist, and doing this comprehensively and rigorously. This analysis involves having detailed conversations with lost costumers, tracking their whole journey from the point they first became aware of the event, rather than simply capturing a one line reason at our final contact. It means probing what they really think of the product, identifying their needs and wants, really understanding their ability to invest in events and their experience of the sales process. And above all, asking why time and time again to get beyond the obvious answers and get to the crux of what is going wrong."


A 2014 study by Gartner found in a survey of its client that while only 35-40 per cent of companies were rigorously doing this kind of work, those that were typically closed more of their potential sales. "The big question is what's stopping the industry from doing more with lost costumers: I suspect the answer can best be summarised as competiting priorities. But - Bolger ends - analysis of lost customers also helps define product strategy and get marketing messages right."

Source: Exhibition News - May 2017

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