August 24, 2018
As a digital agency, you’re always trying to focus as much on client retention as you are client development, i.e. prospecting. Long ago banks figured out how to keep their customers from leaving and today I’m going to share with you exactly how you can do this for your digital agency.
A little history
So long, long ago in the 70’s banks had a problem. Thanks to the rise fo computers customers started to be able to move from their bank to the bank down the street who was offering a better savings rate or cheaper fees and there was little they could do to stop them. They tried a lot of solutions, nice lobbies, snappier ties for their bankers, and a lot of balloons, but nothing seemed to help, because for every gimmick they could invent the bank down the street could simply copy them.
Here these banks were spending millions every year to acquire customers and they could simply walk away a few months in for 1% down the street, this situation had to stop or else these banks would go bankrupt rather quickly.
Enter the three-legged stool analogy
Rumor has it that the analogy was invented at some secret woodland retreat of bankers at an elite resort in Bear Lake, but wherever it came from it quickly became the saving grace for banks everywhere and what allows many banks to keep their customers year after year despite scandals, terrible customer service, and better digital tools customers can use to pay, save, and bank all without going into a branch.
The strategy is actually pretty simple, but majorly effective. Do whatever you have to do to get your clients on more than one product, in fact, the magic number is 3. If you can get a banking customer to buy a savings account/checking account, a car loan, and a mortgage, you own that customer basically for life. And of course, the goal is to turn 3 into more like 6 or 10 products.
Why does it work?
We’ve all been there, the day our bank lets us down, they charged us the extra fee, they “misplaced” our payment and that’s we’re done with those idiots. This is the last time they take us for granted, we’re headed for greener pastures. So we log in and take stock of what we need to do, first we need to go sign up at the new bank, check! And then we need to move our savings and checking over, a little ugh, but okay doable, check! And then all we have left is our 401k, our car loan, and the mortgage. Wait a sec? Can you even move a car loan or mortgage? And have you seen the paperwork to move a 401k or IRA? Yeah, good luck!
And that’s it, that’s where it ends, we give up, we move on, and they got us. Not pretty, but oh so true.
How does this apply to me?
In the case of the bank, they use the 3-legged stole to lock you in because they know their products are vanilla and they’re going to mess up a lot. It’s sneaky, but it doesn’t have to be, in the case of a local digital agency it’s about creating value and lots of it. It’s about being the one stop shop for all your client’s marketing needs, even when those needs involve software and service.
Tra-la-la, white-label software is here!
So you’ve got the services on lock, it might be the website, Facebook advertising, or SEO, but you’ve got all of those items in your toolkit already, so let’s add some more legs to the stole.
Maybe your customers need reputation management, listings management, online appointment booking, web chat, SMS text chat, or social media monitoring and posting? If any of these ring a bell we can help you roll these out all under your agency’s brand and logo.
This is how you add legs to your stool. Just like the bank if you can get a client on a monthly website hosting service, SEO, and some reputation management or listings you’re starting to build a wall around this client that no third party software company can touch. Sure they might be able to offer reputation management or referral software or online booking software or or-or, but they can’t offer them the one-stop shop you can. Add on top that in many cases you can actually swing by that business to help them out directly and it’s all over but the crying for all those SDRs sweating it out in Salt Lake.
Don’t feel too bad, I’ve talked a lot of those SDRs, they hate those jobs anyways and maybe with a little help we can help them move on to more useful roles instead of harassing your customers to sell them yet another piece of software they don’t have time to learn and may not even need.
If you’re ready to get started adding legs to your stool give us a shout, here’s a link to our agency success page, see you there!