At the start of 2017 we knew that this year would be all about one word “retention”. Five of our top ten customers (18% of our turnover) had announced in 2016, that they would issue formal Invitations to Tender for their cleaning and associated soft services this year. Two having been our customers for over 15 years.
Seven months in, and three tender processes completed; I am delighted to report that we have retained all three. The two remaining proposals are with the customers, and we hope to know more in the next few weeks.
If we are successful, then our customer retention for the year will be 97.4%; which will be our best year on record.
Losing any customer is a bitter pill to swallow, the only upside in 2017 is that the three losses this year, are all due to a change in buying strategy: More specifically, customers with offices across EMEA deciding to engage a single service organisation for all locations.
Employee retention has also been on the agenda of every management meeting. With our new Recruitment and Employment platform combined with a focus on moving away from Minimum Wage contracts, we have halved the number of average monthly leavers. On Citizens Living Wage accounts, staff retention ranges from 95% to 98%.
Our efforts in retention has affected our sales growth (with all the Sales team supporting the ITT proposals). In all our previous years we have recorded double digit growth. In 2017 the figure will be around 7%. However, as 18% of our contractual turnover had been formally terminated (to facilitate the ITTs) adding this to the 7% growth and you have …….. 25% (I’m not sure I’ll win any arguments with the Accountants, but it works for me).
The Second half of the year will be focused on Information and Access transparency. We are close to launching an entirely bespoke solution that will give our customers complete access to every element of their service information and every management component of Peartree.