Customer Retention: It's About Loyalty, Not Brute Force

Customer Retention: It's About Loyalty, Not Brute Force

April 16th, 2013

It costs less to keep a good customer than to acquire a new customer, which is why so many companies seem to focus either on keeping customers from leaving, or on making customers want to stay. Though the two approaches sound the same, realistically they're quite different and produce drastically differing outcomes.

 

"Keep them from leaving" 
This mentality isn’t concerned with customer experience, or even with customer satisfaction. These organizations ignore clients until the contract is coming to an end, then all of a sudden they’re your best friend. When you suggest that you may want to change suppliers, all of a sudden there’s a pricing adjustment: “We found a way to save you money,”  “We can discount these additional things if you stay with us.” 
 
They are the organizations that make it difficult to get away. Complex contracts, punitive terms, and technical or logistic difficulties make switching services a headache. There are those relationships – we all have them – where we really aren’t happy with our current suppliers, but the hassle and costs of changing are so large, we continue the relationship. 
 
"Make them want to stay."
These organizations are geared towards customer satisfaction by creating products and experiences that keep clients coming back. They solve pain and save you money, and make you feel valued. Organization with happy customers realize that retention is all about creating experiences that build tremendous loyalty. Customers often buy their products without looking at alternatives, simply because company and their products are so enjoyable.
 
How can you be a company that makes customers want to stay? Focus on delivering positive and enriching experiences. Make sure your customers knows how much their business is appreciated by showing them every day and in every exchange. Focus on building a relationship with every customer-- not only will this help with retention, but it will build loyalty. Happy customers will refer their friends to your business and become evangelists for your brand.
 
What tactics have you used to turn your customer retention strategy into one of relationship building and loyalty? Let us know in the comments.

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