The 5 Best Ways to Keep Customers

91% of unhappy customers will NOT willingly do business with you again! (Lee Resources)

20% of “satisfied” customers intend to leave the company. (Harvard Business Review)

67% of customers that stop doing business with a company do so because of “perceived indifference”! (AQS 2004)

Do you know why each and every “unhappy” customer you have is unhappy?  Is the reason they give the real reason or are they being polite and don’t want to hurt your feelings?

Do you what level of service you’re delivering when a customer says they left because of “perceived indifference”? Do you know what they mean they say “perceived indifference”?

Let me tell you a story about how a very large electricity retailer put one of their customers at risk.

It was Monday when the email arrived from an online group marketing company I subscribe to. There was an offer of a 21% discount on the price of electricity from a national retailer.  The offer was for new customers switching to this provider.

It just so happens the electricity retailer is the company I currently purchased my electricity from and have so for around 10 years.

I like to get a deal and a 21% discount on the price of electricity not something to be sneezed at.  So, I rang the retailers hot line to “get my deal”.

My thinking was if they say “no” I will approach a competitor.

The Good news

My congratulations to the staff member who took my call.  She was polite, friendly and helpful. She had obviously been told about the promotion and briefed on how to respond to existing customers.  

There was no stalling and trying to “force” me to stay on my existing plan through charging “break penalties” on my existing plan. The current plan only gave me an 8% discount and was due to expire in July.  

The staff member obviously had permission to “upgrade” people like me to the new offer immediately.  They made it simple and it was all done and dusted in about 10 minutes.


The electricity retail deserves to be congratulated on anticipating customer like me would want to be on the new plan.  They made it simple, had given staff the necessary knowledge, authority and systems to make the change on a one call process.

They made me a happy customer.

What Makes a Customer “Unhappy”?

Here is where you can learn from this retailer’s process with this campaign.

If I was consulting to the electricity retailer I would tell them I am still an “at risk” customer.  


There are 2 aspects in their campaign meant:

  1. I was “unhappy” because I found my existing supplier was offering new customers a deal 2.5x better than I, a customer of 10 years, was receiving.  Surely my “loyalty” should count for something?
  2. I am in a state of “perceived indifference” because:
    1. I only found out about the offer via a 3rd party
    2. I was forced to call my retailer to request the deal apply to me
    3. I, a loyal customer of 10 years, get not better recognition than a customer of 1 minute i.e. a new customer

So, here I am with a 21% discount, which I really do appreciate, but not feeling “loved” by my electricity retailer.

How to Improve Their Offer

Had this electricity retailer gone to a little more effort they would have created what I term a “Delighted” repeat customer who wants to do business with them.

This retailer sends offers and bills to me by email.  They had me on a “Saver Plan” and I have access to my account and plans via their online portal.

Imagine if their customer service management team had sent an email to all customers in their CRM on the “Saver Plan” offering them the upgrade to the new offer.  

They could have said “As a loyal customer we are extending to you our new discount of 21%….To take up this offer “click” this button or call our customer service team on 13 XX XX”

This would have made me felt they truly cared about supplying me with electricity at the best price and made it simple for me to take up the offer.  

Another improvement to the campaign would be to make an offer which differentiated between an existing customer and a new customer.

5 ways to “Show Your Customers the Love”

To grow more “Delighted” repeat customers in your business:

  • Be proactive in your contact
  • Make it easy for them to do business with you
  • Show them you value their custom
  • Do not treat new customers better than an existing customer
  • Thank customers for their inquiries and for their business

Example of a “True Story”

An excellent example of a business who valued their existing customers is strangely enough my Internet provider. Most telcos are not known for “loving” their existing customers.

However, my Internet provider recently emailed me to say I could upgrade to a higher speed plan which gave me more than 2x the download speed and 4x more upload speed at no extra cost or change in my contract terms or duration! (View short video)

They made it simple… click here to login to my account on their portal and select this plan and it would happen within 24-48 hours.  In making it available via their portal they were not tying up expensive call centre staff.

It only took me about 10 minutes, including reading the email and checking the T&Cs. Sure enough it all happened as promised and the speed is as promised.  Wow!

The moral of the story is: be proactive in contacting your existing customers offer them great offers and treat them better than a new customer. “Show Your Customers the Love

A final statistic about loyal customers:

On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs

About the Author

Ross Keating, The Client Orchardist, has more than 20 years of experience in the CRM space and helps business, doing OK but want more sales, to grow their prospects and customers to harvest sales and create more Delighted, repeat customers.

For more information about benefiting from using a CRM in your business contact Ross by email, on Twitter, or LinkedIn. . If you would like a free 30 minute chat with Ross about using a CRM in your business click here.