What Is Customer Retention?
Understanding the True Definition of Customer Retention
The definition of Customer Retention is keeping the customers you have by providing a great Customer Experience. Both customer retention and customer loyalty embody repeated behavior, where loyalty reflects relationship development and retention reflects relationship continuation.
This is an essential part the customer relationship, and customer experience management must take this into account.
Customer Retention Through an Exclusive Product
Companies that have a monopoly or exclusive product of some sort easily retain customers. Consider an airline that operates from an airport very close to your home.
You may not be thrilled with them, but the rational experience (convenience) outweighs the emotional experience (the fact that you dislike them). In this case, the airline’s customer retention numbers may appear high, but it’s built on a false premise. As soon as an alternative is available, many customers will disappear.
The emotions evoked by a customer experience act as a chief mediator for customer retention. When combined with an organization’s strong reputation and recognized expertise, customer emotions are the chief determinant of customer retention. Without the emotional bond necessary to retain customers, customer loyalty is impossible.
Interactions that evoke negative feelings, stress or manipulative tactics negate trust. While there are a few notable exceptions, most companies do not intend to negate trust. Failure to craft a deliberate customer experience puts organizations at risk for doing just that.
Creating a Strong Retention Strategy
The first in creating strong retention strategy is to engage management by asking whether it has deliberately designed a customer experience. If the answer is “yes,” then the next step is to evaluate the delivery, consistency and overall effectiveness of this customer experience.
In such cases, accuracy of measurements has been the most significant challenge to evaluate the effectiveness customer experience design.