The focus on customer retention

So I realize I’ve been harping on this for a while, but I just got this update from e-marketer that got me fired up. As reported by e-marketer, a study by Unisfair reports that 6/10 marketers say customer acquisition is a critical priority. No surprise. What is  surprise however, is that less than HALF of those surveyed said customer retention was important. I know I’ve been on my soapbox lately on the customer experience, but EVERY marketer should consider retention a priority…because once a customer leaves you, consider the cost of replacing that customer via acquisition which is 10x the cost of simply retaining that original customer.

Customers generally leave due to negative experiences (poor price, service, compatibility, etc.). What the survey tells me is that 50% of marketers are basically ok not placing the customer relationship as a priority.

Am I the only one out there who finds this problematic? It just takes one angry customer to tell 10 more, or even 100 more people about their experience. In the case of Dave Carroll and United Airlines, 5 million folks have seen “United Breaks Guitars“. So why wouldn’t customer retention be a priority?

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  1. #1 by samkale on September 21, 2009 - 8:11 pm

    So I didn’t get a chance to read the study you reference, but did they give an idea as to *why* people don’t care as much about customer retention as they do about customer acquisition? There’s got to be some underlying reason, whether it be incentives of the job or whatever. Or did they not go to that level of analysis?

  2. #2 by samkale on September 21, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    Forgot to subscribe to the email notifications for new comments.

  3. #3 by Kris Kaneta on September 22, 2009 - 8:40 am

    The study wasn’t that detailed…so admittedly, I could be taking things out of context. But my interpretation was that marketers could list *multiple* priorities, so why wouldn’t retention be equally as important (if not more important) than acquisition?

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