The Customer is no Longer King

In the past, companies have been built on the motto that ‘the customer is always right’, and yet, it is becoming more and more apparent, that the customer can sometimes be a complete idiot.

Previously, you would have to put up with it. And in the rise of the digital age, online reviews are starting to become the new word-of-mouth. The thing is, a grumpy or petty customer can leave a really bad review – one that’s not warranted – and get away with it.

On social media, these customers are often referred to as ‘Karens’ (and apologies to any Karen’s reading this, it’s an unfortunate trend for you). In recent years, Karen has starred in widespread memes referencing a middle-class, white woman, who exhibits behaviours that stem from privilege.

‘Karen’ is now associated with the kind of person who demands to “speak to the manager” in order to belittle a service industry worker. In recent months, the meme has evolved ‘Coronavirus Karen’, the one who refuses to wear a face mask on public transport, doesn’t stick to quarantine and thinks the pandemic thing is overblown.

But I digress… technology and data are giving businesses the opportunity to push back. Online retailers have started to identify customers who order lots of clothes, keep them for a couple of days and then return them. Once identified, they can block said customer from placing orders.

Analytic experts are creating tools to identify the grumpy types (or Karens) who leave bad reviews so companies can decline their business and beat them to the punch. After all, these types of customers aren’t usually worth a lot and a few bad reviews on the web can cripple a business forever.

Customer acquisition vs customer retention

If you’re in business, you likely already know that it costs more to get a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. In fact, it costs 6-7 less to cross sell or repeat sell to a client you already have.

According to Marketing Metrics, the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is only 5-20%.

The most common pitfall for businesses is that they think if they have a great product or service, then customer retention will follow naturally. And while this might be the case in some instances, it’s really only a short-term strategy.

If you stop trying, your customers start feeling that you don’t care about them and then they may just leave.

Why do customers leave?

5 reasons to care about your existing customers

  1. Better conversion rates. They already trust you.
  2. Less marketing. Building a relationship with a new customer costs 16 times more.
  3. Room for improvement. You can improve by just listening to their feedback.
  4. Higher profits. Existing customers are less focussed on price.
  5. Lower costs. A mere 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75%.

Introducing content marketing services

Yup, here’s the plug. But it might just be what your company is looking for to decrease the ‘Karens’ and / or grow your business.

Sending out a newsletter sounds like a good idea – an easy way to keep in touch with your existing customer base… then you sit down to write something and that’s when it gets put into the ‘too hard basket’.

Sending out promotions, advising of sales or sending out discounts is also a good way to keep your customer engaged. But it’s not letting them know that you care, and it’ll probably attract the clients you don’t want.

Now that I’ve outlined all of the problems, here’s the solution. Give me a call, let’s have a chat about what you want, what you need, what time/money you can afford to put into this. Then we can work out a marketing strategy to keep your clients loyal and increase your bottom line.

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