off maintenance contract renewals

We all know customers off maintenance are ultimately at a fork in the road. You either get them back or lose them forever. When you consider what it costs to get a new customer in today’s environment versus keeping an existing one, it’s a no-brainer you’ve got to get them back. We felt this would be a very relevant topic to organizations that are looking for steps to drive more revenue in 2019. Our first entry discussed ways to move your existing MQL pipeline towards revenue.

Here are the top ways to get ’em back:

1. Know exactly what they have and who they are before you call them

  • Integrate your contract and asset data with your CRM and Marketing Automation solutions to minimize the amount of back and forth between applications. This helps ensure you have recent and relevant contacts available to market your renewal, along with product details and recent account history.
  • Data Scrub – For records that haven’t been touched in quite some time, the contacts in your system for these companies are likely out of date. It pays to clean up the data before beginning the program with simple outreach and verification.

2. Specific Messaging – It’s likely that you’d want to treat these customers differently in your messaging based on several factors – which product/version, prior history, etc. This segment information could be collected if not available in your CRM or Asset system.

  • Know exactly what functionality they are missing because they are back level and what their upgrade path is from where they are, and be prepared to talk about what are predictable benefits to upgrading within their industry.
  • Tell them you understand the tough budget decisions they have had to make that lead to them cancelling maintenance.
  • Gently but accurately remind them of the serious risk they’re facing without maintenance, these include the cost of unexpected down time, impact on their customer satisfaction and risk of key customer loss.

3. Improve your offer – Make the topic of maintenance renewal brand new again. Redefine the value of your maintenance. Create a very strong comeback program with attractive pricing.

  • Make it easy as possible for them to come back.
  • Waive or minimize back fees or penalties.
  • Listen. Find out what they’re thinking.
  • Make your case for the most secure, the most stable, & the most risk-free path for them is to come back.
  • Use video to make your coming back to maintenance exciting.
  • Show them testimonials for companies coming back to maintenance.
  • If you can, fix a past problem if they bring one up. Remember every problem solved leads to an opportunity to sell something new.

4. Integrated marketing campaign – use a combination of different media to reach them. Multiple touches will be needed to achieve conversions. Tactics that have proven effective include telemarketing, email and direct mail. Be sure to match the messaging (including incentives) to the segment to maximize value. Assign an extremely product intelligent and empathetic human being to reach out and handle these interactions. Tell them you love them like nobody loves them … seriously, it helps.

Do these series of steps now. Do it over and over and over again until you got them back. Are we sure these steps work? Yes.

They can pay nice dividends. Getting them back under contract has the potential to turn a dormant customer into an active customer which could become a loyal customer.

Does not doing it lose them? Absolutely.