Stepping On The Scale

So it’s that time of year when you take advantage of the hopeful, cleansing and prosperous thoughts of a new year and look to leave behind all the past transgressions. Knowing you sort of “blew it out” over the holidays, it’s time to suck in, face the music and step on the scale.

Yeah, you bloated your database with all that extra, delicious acquisition and you had to have that second helping of social “sauce.” Now you have all these fans hanging around your mid-section that sort of bounce around while you try to be nimble. How are you planning to re-focus this new “weight” to a more productive part of your business anatomy?

First, weigh your options. All this new customer acquisition and gain is “good” but how much strong customer “muscle tone” of current customers did you lose out the back door? Can you get them back? Is it worth the extra work in the “CRM Gym” to get them to come back? Did you over-promise and under-deliver? Did you mess up an order? Did you just go overboard and send them way too much email?

Or worse, did you just lose them to that other competitor who happened to work a wee bit harder than you did and is now piling on some killer tone and shape?

So, take a long hard look at your customer database and across the newly acquired ones and their behavior. I would go even further to suggest looking at opt-in, click-path, point of entry, purchase, shopping-engagement patterns, lead-gen and other behavioral interactions including your own pace of communication.

Naturally your first instinct may be to “purge” some unhealthy customers, assuming it’s just “water-weight” gained from wide-net acquisition. However, before you cut, curb or scale back, understand that every business “anatomy” has its own unique healthy “weight” for a database. It may be best to try a few things first to see if they will either engage with the rest of your offerings and be absorbed into your circulatory system. Or, perhaps they will fall off naturally.  We diagnose a slow and pragmatic approach would be best.

Oh, and let’s go ahead and remind you there are no “quick fixes” in this battle of the bulge! Forget about making a phone call and ordering some “miracle” out of a box or expect that some quick-fix CRM “pill” will cure all that has made you large and uncomfortable. Take a good, long look at your “guts” and an inventory of key systems right away. It might be best to check with your “doctor” over in your IT group before undertaking or starting some new plan or pill or some other “out of the box” solution. (Side effects could include totally screwing it up, uncontrollable tears or significant problems lasting more than four hours…)

Your best bet after taking a full check-up of all systems is to revisit those 2013 goals you made back in September when it was time to ask for a new budget. Sure you had lofty goals on paper to achieve, but is this new “weight” going to help you get there? If yes, then count yourself lucky; get to work and happy girth growth.

If not, perhaps it might be best to dig out the bike shorts and wiggle into the proverbial leotard of coming up with a plan to trim and tighten and tone. Start shuffling those fans to customers, and migrate those acquisitions to repeat buyers.

And let’s hope that your status as “Biggest Loser” is reference to your operating costs and not your job title!

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