Plugging the Leak in Customer Retention

If you can’t keep your current customers, how are you going to get new ones?

When customers are leaving as fast as you are acquiring them, it’s known as the leaky bucket analogy. The analogy uses the water in the bucket as the customer base, which increases or recedes dependent on water flow. The water flow is equated with client acquisition, and the leak is when customers no longer purchase from the company, namely they leave the customer base.

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. – Marketing Metrics

Two things can happen to ensure a constant customer base: increase customer acquisition, or ‘plug the leak’ — or at least reduce some of the holes in the bucket to reduce the water loss. In simple language, concentrate on customer retention.

If companies put at least as much effort into keeping their existing customers as they do into getting new ones, they wouldn’t have to work so hard on acquisition! Don’t get me wrong here; new customers are vital to keep the business dynamic and alive, but existing customers can become an extension of your sales force as Brand Advocates, and do some of the work for you, without demanding a salary…

Customers can go anywhere for a similar service, so make sure that when they come to you, they come back again and again…

It’s all about a great customer experience; an experience that never stops giving. How a company treats its customers must be memorable, personalised and, most importantly, consistently remarkable. Be so remarkable that they want to do business with you, they want to support you. Customer is King, Queen and Emperor; exceed their expectations!

  • Listen to your customers. Remember that communication is a two-way street.
  • Be unique – what is your USP? Why should they keep coming back?
  • Hire and train the right people and make sure that they are delivering a great customer experience. 
  • Be truthful and authentic in everything you do, from advertising to answering the phone.
  • And last, but not least, know your customers. Make the effort!

Unless you want your company to ‘kick the bucket’, improve the customer’s experience and make them want to stay with you.



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