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Keys to Boosting Customer Retention and Loyalty

Years ago, business leaders worried that one unhappy customer would tell 13 people of his bad experience. It was likely that those 13 people would tell 13 people, and those 13 would tell another 13 and so on. The bad experience story could spread like wildfire. Today, the stat remains nearly the same-but thanks to social media, the number who know of the bad experience is exponentially greater and the speed at which the story spreads is almost instantaneous. The first 13 could easily be 1,000 or more people who tell another 1,000 or more people.

In any market or economy, the ability to build a satisfied and loyal base of customers is essential to growing market share and achieving revenue goals. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, attracting one new customer costs at least five times as much as retaining an existing one. Delivering consistent and positive customer service experiences is key to cultivating loyalty and retaining customers. In fact, recent studies indicate that even in a negative economy, customer experience is a high priority for consumers. In 2010, a Harris Interactive report revealed 60% of consumers will pay more to have a better experience with a company.

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