Retention is not enough

“Attract and retain customers”

I hear this phrase all the time, as if it were an indivisible, and comprehensive, unit.  It assumes that once you acquire a customer the only thing left is to retain that customer.

A newsletter I wrote last year, The Apple Farmer,shows why retention is rarely ever enough.  When asked what percent of their customers are giving them all of the business they reasonably could, most companies report a very low number to me.  They haven’t lost the customers, but they surely haven’t developed all they can from the relationships.

So be cautious of strategies designed to “retain” customers.  These strategies may succeed, and, if they do, you may miss the chance to go beyond the success of retention and develop more profitable, mutually-beneficial, continually-developing We relationships.

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