Saturday, 18 February 2012

Losing Old Customers, Customer Retention, Customer Service

“How can I keep my customers?  I have 30 new customers a day coming to my store, but my old customers are not coming back. So, what’s the secret of keeping my customers”?

These were the questions of Marcy to me yesterday. Marcy is a start-up owner of a fast-food restaurant in a good location. She was telling me her restaurant attracts new customers everyday,  yet many customers were not coming back in a month.
Marcy’s dilemma is common. I also heard bank managers talking about signing up many new accounts in a month, yet, also losing just as many old depositors during the same month.
Why is this so? I think this is a problem of customer retention. It seems that many businesses and companies have no policy on customer retention, on how to make customers satisfied and happy and thus, making them patronize the business, again and again.
But if you look at it, customers are the heart of any business – whether a restaurant, a bank, a hardware, a hospital, etc. Without customers, there is no business.
In the face of competition, where many companies sell the same products and offer similar services, one best way to differentiate your business from that of the competitors is through customer service.
Thus, making new customers is just as important as keeping the existing ones. Existing customers, those who patronize the business, not only buy more goods and services, but also refer new business.
Customers also affect not only sales revenue and profit, but also employee morale and their performance. If the customers are satisfied and happy, the business will be stable, and the employees are more likely to stay.
This results to reducing employees’ turnover, cost of hiring new employees, training expenses and customer service mistakes by new but inexperienced employees.
It all boils down to having customer retention policy, which is also part and parcel of customer service.

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