The Need for Customer Loyalty and Retention
Previously, executives representing a business would pay their most valuable customers a personal visit in their office, indulging them in meaningless talk on an assortment of different subjects that have little to do with the objectives of the business and everything to do with the interests of the customer. Executives even took their clients out for lunch or dinner, encouraging the establishment of a strong mutual bond between the customer and the client.
There is no denying the fact that the fastest way to direct the corporate tide towards substantial growth is by shifting the strategic focus to the business’ core customers. However, in order to achieve this objective, prioritization of efforts is essential, as it prevents the resources and goals of the business from dilution. Once the business has drawn a fine line separating its strategic customers, the next decision involves how to maintain their interest and loyalty towards the business.
Executive Sponsor Programs
Executive Sponsor Program (ESP) is a comprehensive plan devised by a business ‘key decision makers with the aim of engaging the business’ core customer in a one-to-one relationship that is set well beyond the parameters of a sales transaction. It is therefore an initiative to influence a business’ client relations so that greater penetration of existing accounts can be achieved. This, in turn, increases the retention rate of the business.
Generally, an Executive Sponsor Program involves selecting some of the most influential executives working in an organization and assigning them target accounts of core clients. The executives are responsible for establishing, fostering and sustaining good relationships with these core clients through healthy two-sided personal communication, which is carefully planned to be in the mutual interest of both sides. Deepening the roots of a healthy relationship of a client with the business encourages customer loyalty.
An Executive Sponsorship Program has its own designated manager, the role of whom is to provide executive sponsors with opportunities throughout the year, so that it aids them in their quest to meet one-on-one with their key client executives. The meetings are organized as the ideal opportunities for executive sponsors to interact freely with customers, also encouraging discussions on the most pressing issues that the customer is confronted with.
The underlying focus of these meetings is to identify the means that encourage better cooperation and understanding. Also, comprehensively devised Executive Sponsor Programs encourage round-table discussions on emerging market trends and identify new strategic priorities and directives from both organizations. Generally, the meeting commences with identification of pressing issues, followed by collaborative input and exchange of ideas, aimed at developing concrete actionable corrective measures.
The bottom line of an Executive Sponsor Program is the realization of a higher level of strategic sales opportunities along with increased account retention of key customers. In the wake of increasingly competitive markets, countless businesses have devised comprehensive Executive Sponsor Programs to encourage customer loyalty. However, when devising an Executive Sponsor Program the primary challenge faced by businesses is that of identifying key elements that encourage customer loyalty.