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The Costs of Customer Acquisition, Customer Retention and Customer Attrition for Your I.T. Organization

Sales leaders, marketing leaders and account managers spend a significant amount of time controlling the costs of customer acquisition, customer retention and customer attrition. The lifeblood of every business is its customers, and the lifeblood of every department in an organization is its customers. One of the most important parts of retaining customers is relationship management. The role played by information technology leaders who manage customeer relationpships is similar to the role played by sales managers and account managers on the business side of your organization. Relationship management is a significant time investment for your information technology leaders and requires the most capable people in your organization in order to ensure that: difficult situations are managed effectively; communication channels are regularly maintained; lessons learned are identified and incorporated into future projects; and the successes of the relationship are consistently communicated to project and organizational stakeholders. Capable information technology leaders always ensure that the success of the information technology department and the success of their business partners there are effectively aligned.

Your information technology department's ability to create and maintain an increasing number of productive relationships within the organization leads to increased customer confidence that information technology is increasing the competitive advantage of your organization; and consequently, political capital for your information technology organization. However while building and maintaining relationships is part of the every day life of every department, situations that may lead to the complete loss of your customer's confidence in the information technology department are less frequent. Consequently, as experienced information technology professionals we may not spend enough time preparing a plan to manage customer crisis situations because we believe our role is to always successfully avoid them. Additionally, as experienced information technology professionals we know that situations will always arise that may lead to customer attrition. We must always have an established game plan for crises that may cause a complete loss of a customer's confidence. Severely damaged relationships with key customers, or any customer for that matter, can be extremely destructive to the credibility and reputation of your information technology organization. It may also lead to a common belief that the information technology organization does not get the job done and does not significantly contribute to the success of the organization. Repairing damaged customer relationship can be extremely difficult. Fixing the reputation of an information technology department can be extremely difficult. Information technology leaders must invest in the acquisition and onboarding of new customers, spend a significant amount of time ensuring that existing customer relationships are successful, and always have a game plan for dealing with situations when the information technology department may completely lose the confidence of one of its customers.

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