“What’s your retention rate?”
I hear this question all the time. Retention is a big buzzword in the fitness industry, and most small businesses. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, if clients are staying with your business, they must be happy, right?
Not so fast. Customers are often repeat buyers even though they are not happy or even satisfied with a company. Think about the last time you had to call your cable company. How was that experience? Where you put on hold? Transferred and then asked to repeat your information again and again? Did they send someone to your house immediately with a prompt appointment time or were you told someone would be at your house between the hours of 8:00 and 12:00?
Chances are you aren’t satisfied with your cable company but they are still your cable company.
Instead of Customer Retention, we should be focusing on Customer Loyalty. Retention refers to repeat buyers, and speaks nothing to the satisfaction or happiness of your customers. Loyalty refers to customers that love, support, and advocate for your company. Loyalty is earned by providing a superior product coupled with superior service, and repeatedly earning the trust of your customers.
Loyalty, not retention, is the true correlate to the growth and long term success of your business.
Retention is overrated. Go for loyalty instead.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY BEN'S BOOKSHELF: A running list of the books I've recommended most.