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Here are two statistics that will reinforce your concerns in keeping your customers.

  1. It costs anywhere from 5 to 8 times more to gain a new customer as opposed to retaining your customers. When you consider the cost of sales people, advertising, Internet marketing, etc. to attract new customers this becomes obvious.
  2. 68% of customers will stop using your services or fail to return if they feel unappreciated. This is the number one reason businesses lose customers.
    Based upon these two statistics, it is obvious your business needs to place as strong an emphasis on keeping existing customers as it does on gaining new ones.

Here are 5 easy to use tips you can use today:

Keep in touch

If your customers’ needs are seasonal or ongoing, always stay in touch. Never assume they will continue to do business with you or call you when they need your services. They can always go elsewhere.

Be sure everyone in your company provides outstanding service to your customers.
Your account executives, sales people, and customer service staff already know this. But does your receptionist have a list of your best customers and clients? Does everyone in your company know how to properly treat an existing customer or client?

Nothing is worse than if one of your best clients calls with a question and someone asks, “&ldots;and what can I say this call is in reference to?” Your client is thinking at this point: “How about all the business I continue to give you although five of your competitors call me daily!”

Continue to understand your customers’ needs

Your services must stay up to date with what customers expect from you. It is not enough to assume that your current level of service and results is enough to keep customers satisfied.

You definitely don’t want to wait too long and find out the reason they left was because you weren’t providing what was needed.

The only way to know these answers is to stay in touch and ask for feedback.

Appreciate your customers

You can never thank someone enough if it is sincere. A “thank you” can go a long way. Tell someone by in person, on the phone, or by mail, “Thank you for your business. I appreciate the opportunity to have you as my customer.”

If you don’t like saying “Thank You,” refer to the beginning of this article for the # 1 reason why customers disappear.

Stay competitive

The “nicest” business in the world can still lose its customers if it does not stay competitive in the market place. For this reason, you will want to keep an eye of your competitors, what they are charging, new services they offer, improvements in old services, marketing promotions, etc.

Here are a few ways to stay competitive

Make sure your services are the best value for the money. You do not necessarily have to lower your prices when your competitors do, but make sure your customers know that you are worth the extra money.

If your competitors are actively trying to steal your customers from you, this is not the time to sit back and be lazy. Use all the ideas in this article to make sure they stay with you.

Out-market your competition

If your competitors are running half page ads and you run 1/16 page ads this says something about you. Your customers notice this and begin to question your quality. If you only run a small ad, what does this say in your confidence in your own services?

Bottom line: You cannot afford to lose your hard earned customers. What are you going to do today to make sure they continue to do business with you?

This Marketing article was written by Chris Philippi on 2/11/2005

Chris Philippi is president of Philippi Marketing & Associates, a retail consulting firm specializing in helping independent retailers and small retail chains increase sales quickly, easily, and without expensive advertising. Chris is co-author of The Worlds Greatest Business Mentors and is available for speaking engagements and consulting around the world. Contact him at
or toll free at (866) 391-5727 or online at