The 74-Cent Customer Retention Plan

October 2004
by Jeffrey Dobkin

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The buzzword for this week is Customer Retention Management. Last week it was Brand Loyalty. Do the new guys on the marketing block think nobody knew how to keep a customer until now?

You want to see a good example of CRM? Take a look at L.L. Bean. They’ve been around forever and they keep their customers–for life–without all the new buzzwords.

Shamefully, most big companies today actually do need to study CRM because they don’t know anything about keeping customers happy. Just take a look at Sprint, or AT&T, or any of the other big phone companies. You get their worst prices if you’re a loyal, long-term customer. Exactly what were those connivers thinking to concoct that plan? And when you call them with a quick question, you get 20 minutes of voicemail. Finally, they blow you off to their Web sites so you can spend four hours looking for something it would have taken them 30 seconds to tell you on the phone. (I wonder if there’s a secret publication called Anti-CRM Magazine that only the phone companies receive. And credit card companies. And banks. And…)

Common Sense About Keeping Customers

The phone companies lose so many existing customers that they have to continually market to prospective customers to stay ahead. I guess they haven’t figured out that it costs about one-fifth as much to keep a current customer as it costs to acquire a new one.

If you ask me, and some firms do, the wa…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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