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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

I need advice on how to set up a plan to outline the development, implementation and evaluation of a new company objective: client retention. Marketing plans I’ve created have been either product/service focused, not dealing with client relationship/retention management. Any ideas how to present this from start to finish (including ROI) to an Executive Management Team?

Answer from our Guest Expert Peter Hupalo of Hupalo Ltd.

Customer Retention

Client retention is a key ingredient to business success, so you're right on the money thinking it’s worth considering. It's difficult to plan customer retention, however, because retention often involves customer interactions with your employees, and assuming, of course, you cost-effectively fulfill your clients' basic needs. It's also difficult to mandate employee-customer interaction without doing more harm than good.

Before making any customer-retention plan, consider how you'll gather up the information you need to begin making a plan. I don’t know the size of your company, so it’s difficult to offer one best path. If your company is large, for example, you might have the experiences of several thousand customers to draw upon. Statistical analysis is a possibility. You could also use the usual surveys to begin collecting customer information. If you have a smaller company, you can probably wing it and do more guessing. Focus groups and discussions with present and past clients are useful options to consider as well.

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About the Expert

Peter Hupalo
Owner of HCM Publishing, Inc.
Peter investigates the latest computer-programming technologies and researches companies for investment. He also writes a column about entrepreneurship and small business for iSyndicate.com and reviews biz books. Peter wrote Thinking Like An Entrepreneur, about how to make savvy business decisions and take real control of your financial destiny. more