Active management of customer needs and expectations is the key to successful and sustainable

business retention and expansion programs

. Management knits together all elements of the customer retention process.

Customer management requires both process and outcome-based metrics. Here are some examples of these metrics:

Process-Based Metric Examples
  • Number of face-to-face retention visits within the local trading area
  • Number of face-to-face retention visits per outreach specialist
  • Percentage of total market penetration or coverage (i.e., total number of businesses in a sector versus the number visited)
  • Number of referrals/action items emanating from face-to-face visits
  • Average response time for referrals/action items
  • Percentage of companies that agree to be visited and revisited as part of the program (note: applicable to only those companies that warrant a re-visit)
  • Number of participating public and/or private sector organizations
  • Longevity of the program
  • Recognition of the program brand name
  • Overall budget of the program
  • Cost factor per face-to-face visit
  • Time spent with local businesses
  • Value of the time spent with local businesses
  • Utilization/demand of local resources and

    economic development programs

Outcome-Based Metric Examples
  • Job retention
  • Job creation
  • Job training (new and incumbent worker)
  • Public capital investment
  • Private capital investment
  • Cost savings to local businesses
  • Increased sales/revenues for local businesses
  • Export sales
  • Customer diversification
  • Customer/geographic market diversification for local businesses
  • Increased productivity for local businesses
  • Increased tax base for local trading area
  • Assimilation of technology products or processes by local business
  • Proprietary product development by local businesses
  • Patents and R&D expenditures by local business
  • Customer satisfaction ratings of local businesses
Customer management is directly responsible for systematic customer contact, service and, ultimately, satisfaction. Active management and the management process coordinates and administers all other elements of a

business retention and expansion

program. When we post mortem

business retention programs

that fail, the common denominator is usually poor or absent management.