A lot of focus has shifted to customer retention from new customer acquisition ever since company budgets dried up with the sluggish economy. Although I'm not a believer in the strategy that companies should stop looking at new customers altogether and focus their activity towards retaining existing ones, customer retention as well as upselling to your customer base is worth pursuing actively. Typically, existing customers which have a strong relation built with your company are easier to engage than new prospects and calling in on them from time to time to see if there are more opportunities to upsell or renew business with them but as the customer base grows, the task of keeping up with these phone follow ups can get tedious just as suited towards retaining your existing customers engaged as identifying new opportunities. It's important to be able to keep a constant channel of communication with your existing customers and keep them updated on you companies recent accomplishments perhaps, new product launches, updates on your blog, newsletters and more. If your gives you visibility into when these customers come back to your website and which product pages they are frequenting, it could give some valuable insight into which ones to personally follow up on limiting the sales teams calls to a more manageable set of customers.
Having said this it's important to note that you can't completely automate the entire process and rely only on to connect reach out to existing customers. Being able to respond with personal email and calls every once in a while to check on your customers is still critical to bring more of the human touch and strengthen the relationship. However well designed nurturing program specifically designed for existing customers will aid the process tremendously and keep the activity alive. How many of you use marketing automation or have a campaign dedicated to nurturing existing customers? Any experiences to share on this?