Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6








Customer Acquisition vs. Retention Costs

Customer acquisition and customer retention are two metrics used mainly to determine the return
on investment (ROI) for efforts to monetize consumers. Both are essential numbers to track since
they will show shifts in the market or problems with a marketing plan. The numbers are different
in a few ways.
Customer acquisition is the cost of converting a person into a paying customer. Determining the
cost of acquisition requires dividing all expenses dedicated to acquisition by the number of new
customers acquired over the same period. Acquisition expenses include marketing, promotions
like discounts, labor and any advertising targeted at non-existing customers. High customer
acquisition numbers could indicate demographic shifts, ineffective marketing or problems with
core products and services.
Customer Acquisition Cost is the cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a
product/service. This cost is incurred by the organization to convince a potential customer. This
cost is inclusive of the product cost as well as the cost involved in research, marketing, and
accessibility costs. This is an important business metric. It plays a major role in calculating the
value of the customer to the company and the resulting return on investment (ROI) of
acquisition. The calculation of customer valuation helps a company decide how much of its
resources can be profitably spent on a particular customer. In general terms, it helps to decide the
worth of the customer to the company.
Customer retention is the cost keeping an existing customer purchasing. Calculating retention
costs is not easy. There is no commonly accepted formula. Retention figures can be calculated
using total purchases over a period mitigated by retention expenditures, churn, acquisition costs
and general overhead. Customer retention directly affects lifetime values (LTV). High retention
costs lower margins and profits since each subsequent purchase is actually worth less overall.
Every business needs to balance acquisition and retention costs. Acquisition is important to draw
in new consumers and expand the base. Retention is normally less costly and builds loyalty and
the brand. Retention also often relies on far less price sensitivity from customers so that the longterm costs are recouped through sales. It is essential to track the ROI for both customer
acquisition and customer retention. Poor ratios in either area are strong indicators that more
research is necessary to see what is changing in the market or what is happening within the
Customer retention is the activity that a selling organization undertakes in order to reduce
customer defections. Successful customer retention starts with the first contact an organization
has with a customer and continues throughout the entire lifetime of a relationship. A companys
ability to attract and retain new customers, is not only related to its product or services, but

strongly related to the way it services its existing customers and the reputation it creates within
and across the marketplace.
Customer retention is more than giving the customer what they expect, its about exceeding their
expectations so that they become loyal advocates for your brand. Creating customer loyalty puts
customer value rather than maximizing profits and shareholder value at the center of business
strategy. The key differentiation in a competitive environment is often the delivery of a
consistently high standard of customer service
Customer retention is on the minds of small and medium-sized businesses across the world. With
rising customer acquisition costs, businesses need to innovate and assume a proactive role in
retaining clients.
Studies from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Chamber of Commerce have
found that acquiring new customers can cost as much as five to seven times more than simply
retaining existing customers. The fact that customer profitability tends to increase over the life of
a retained customer is added incentive for businesses to allocate more resources to sharpening
their customer retention strategies.
Before I offer my nine customer retention strategies for businesses, I want to share three reasons,
identified in research, your customers may leave you.

68% leave because they are unhappy with the service they receive.

14% are unhappy with the product or service.

9% decide to use a competitor.

The following nine customer retention strategies will give you some inspiration and practical
examples to help you improve your customer retention rates. They address the above mentioned
problems and provide you with actionable tips you can implement today to maximize your
customer retention.
1. Set customer expectations
The first step to building better customer retention is to set client expectations early. The earlier
the better. Dont wait.
By setting expectations early and a tad lower than you can provide, you can eliminate uncertainty
as to the level of service you need to offer to ensure your clients are happy. This clear vision
enables your company to build KPIs around specific expectations and ensure you

Clients tend to remember negative experiences. So if you have over delivered on the past 20
occasions, but, once, you undelivered your client will no doubt quote that negative experience
as a reason to cancel his or her contract with you.
2. Be the expert
Small and medium-sized businesses are becoming more and more dependent on services to run
their operation. No matter what industry you occupy, if you can be the expert in your particular
field, you will likely retain more customers.
3. Build trust through relationships
As the age old saying goes, you do business with people you trust. Trust is essential in
business, and building relationships with clients will garner that trust.
Simply providing a service is no longer sufficient as competitors enter your market, you need
to start building shared values with clients and showing you take an interest in them and their
This leads me to my next point, implementing a relationship marketing strategy. Relationship
marketing is a term that has popped up everywhere in the past couple of years. This is of
particular importance because you are a service-based business.
4. Implement anticipatory service
Anticipatory service is a proactive approach to customer service. Instead of waiting for
problems to occur, a company that implements anticipatory service can eliminate problems
before they happen.
Lets take a look at two examples of anticipatory service:

A major airline proactively texts customers to advise them of flight delays.

A corporate billing department alerts customers when an invoice is nearly due.

In both of these examples, the company is taking a proactive approach to what could become a
problem that results in a negative experience. With the airline, no one likes to arrive at the airport
and discover that the plane has been delayed for 50 minutes. Likewise, with the corporate billing
department, you dont want to be hit up for reminder invoices and late fees when these reminders
could have been sent prior to the deadline.
By being proactive you can save yourself a lot of reactive problem fixing in the long run and
build the perception that you are the type of company that consistently offers anticipatory
service with your customers.

5. Make use of automation

Automation tools allow for time-consuming tasks requiring manual intervention to be
standardized into repeatable processes. Companies that leverage automation are able to minimise
downtime and keep clients networks performing at their best.
Companies are typically bound by contracts that guarantee their services and make them
accountable to clients. By leveraging automation tools and streamlining repeatable processes,
companies can better meet their commitments.
By standardizing your processes and setting expectations for service levels, you can increase
customer loyalty, which will lead to improved customer retention rates.
6. Build KPIs around customer service
A great way to improve customer retention is to improve customer service. As outlined at the
beginning , 68% of your customers leave because they are dissatisfied with the service.
Lets hear details about this initiative from Jason Neville:
Customer satisfaction is measured quarterly through Client Heartbeat and is tied directly to
employee KPIs and compensation. We operate in a model with senior engineers assigned to a
group of customers. If they do not achieve 8/10, then they fail to achieve their KPI. This is also
tied back into a company goal and bonus structure.
7. Build relationships online
Your clients are online, so lets start building relationships with them while they are glued to
their computer screens. With the rise of social media, connecting with your clients through these
mediums makes sense. I would focus my efforts on building social profiles on
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. The majority of your clients will have active profiles on at
least one of these Web sites.

8. Go above and beyond

Oftentimes, companies overlook how important this is. Going the extra mile for your customers
is an easy way to build strong relationships. As a service business, you have countless
opportunities to woo your clients and transcend the minimum.
By doing this, you can build some serious long-term loyalty. If your clients know you are
prepared to go above and beyond, they will stick with you when competitors start knocking on
their door.

9. Implement customer feedback surveys

Customer churn can be avoided by simply listening to your customers. Customer feedback
surveys are valuable for learning how your service is performing in relation to your clients
Qualtrics defines customer retention as being individualized and varied across the kind of
product or service provided the kinds and number of customers served, the longevity and
frequency of customer/supplier interactions, and the strategies you have chosen to grow your
Client Heartbeat has identified three key metrics you must monitor to measure customer
retention most effectively:

Firstly, you should monitor customer feedback on an individual level. Comparing

feedback across a broad range of customers would be a waste of time. You must narrow
the data down to a specific client, see what that client thought, and take action from there.

Secondly, you need to trend feedback across a period of time. You should track feedback
survey to survey so you can see which areas have improved and which have suffered.

Thirdly, you want feedback from customer surveys to provide intelligence. You need it
to provide you with data regarding what customers are at risk, which areas of your
business need improvement, and where your strengths lie.

This feedback will help you retain clients. By understanding client feedback, you can take action
before its too late and make business decisions based on real data-driven feedback.