Monday, April 6, 2009

Five Ways to be Sure We Get Our Share

Today's blog is written by ICC's Co-Founder, Barbara Hughes.

In the heady times of economic prosperity, “share of wallet” is a marketing metric that usually receives scant attention. Could it be that as individuals, business owners and managers, we want more, more, more and the way to get it is by acquisition? After all, isn’t there something downright seductive about the new and something, well, blah about the known? If that wasn’t true, wouldn’t cell phone providers and cable operators treat existing customers as well as the new ones they are courting?

There is a big problem with finding and signing new customers: it’s an expensive pastime. Share of Wallet, on the other hand, has a greater return on investment and the data behind it is available in your existing financial and sales systems (note: these and other databases like CRM should be integrated so that everyone connected with a customer has the Big Picture) and can be updated because, after all, you interact with your customers frequently (don’t you?).

Real share of wallet measures the amount of the customers’ total spending you are capturing in any particular category of product or service. (Read what marketing guru Seth Godin says about SoW here)

Knowing what you already have and how you might capture more of those dollars from the wallets already in your clients’ pockets is my definition of sanity. Right now, without a lot of spending on initiatives with money we don’t have, here are five ways that you can engage your entire workforce on SoW metrics and delight your loyal customers in the process:

1. Educate your workforce on “share of wallet”: what a great opportunity to get the Finance Department to share what they know with other employees! When employees understand how their work contributes to company performance, engagement happens!

2. Encourage share of wallet behaviors: the dots have to be connected between an employee’s job and the ways in which he or she can put those SoW dollars into your pocket and not your competitor’s pocket.

3. Recognize employees who get on board with the idea of Share of Wallet: recognition has been shown to be a higher productivity and engagement booster than monetary rewards. However, recognition should be tailored to the employee, his or her geographical location and the organizational culture. Click on this link to watch a brief video from the CHRO at Accenture to pick up some additional ideas on recognition.

4. Listen to the feedback from employees that can provide immediate improvements to your SoW initiatives.

5. Ask customers the following question, “If you had to decide between purchasing from two different stores or companies, what is the most important factor in that decision?” Satisfaction data is fine; loyalty data is better. You’ll get great insight from this question and most client-facing employees from sales to customer service to point-of-sale have those moments of truth with your customers every day. It’s time to tap into this valuable insight and bring it together with other performance data.

If we truly are focused like a laser on our existing customers and if we genuinely want to grow those relationships, Share of Wallet is a metric that matters for not just this economic time but for all time.

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