“It is twice as hard to acquire a new customer as it is to retain an existing one,” explained Fiona Coughlan, Principal Consultant EMEA for the channel consulting company AchieveUnite, in her keynote speech at the Rittal EMEA Channel Partner Summit in Herborn, which was held on November 4 and 5.
During her presentation, Ms. Coughlan discussed, among other things, how channel partners could maintain long-term customer relationships (customer lifetime values) through good customer care and strengthen these relationships for successful business initiatives. Another important point in this context concerned the demands of the customer journey, which includes all of the consumer's touchpoints with a brand, product or service. In particular, the buyer’s journey, the different phases traversed by the customers before they decide to purchase, has changed dramatically over the last two years: Around half of all customer research now takes place online, using search engines and mobile devices. This change now means that the customer journey, an essential component of customer loyalty, has to be aligned to it. It was important to understand the customer inside out. Ms Coughlan quoted the American economist Peter F. Drucker in this context: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Furthermore, values such as trust were indispensable for a sustainable customer relationship.
Winners are from Belgium, Italy and Poland
Awards for excellence will also promote a good relationship. At this year’s Partner Summit, Rittal again awarded prizes to its channel partners. The Italian system integrator N&C, a premium partner, received the “Top Growth” award for the largest increase in business with Rittal in 2019. Ordin-Access was awarded the “Top Project Performance” in recognition of its outstanding project results in 2019. The Belgian system integrator has been a member of the Rittal global Channel Partner Program since 2016. AODC, another premium partner, also received an award. The system integrator from Poland posted the best sales figures in 2019 and received the “Top Revenue” award as a result.
Teamwork: Using individual strengths
“We can only win together”, Thomas Striebel, Director IT Channel & Partnerships at Rittal, summed up after the award ceremony, explaining that Rittal would in future be focussing even more on individual business scenarios with every single partner. The partners’ specific capabilities ensured that customers always received the value proposition that is best suited to them.