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How to Keep More Customers

Guest blog by Chichi Okoye

You probably know that it can cost up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.

Many business owners are so focused on finding new customers that they neglect the customers they already have. As a result, they may need to increase the money they spend on advertising and marketing as more new customers are needed to replace those that leave.

Customer or client retention is crucial to business success. According to Peter Drucker, “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

What is a client’s retention and loyalty worth in revenue? Depends on the business, but it’s worth thinking about. A loyal customer is more likely than a new customer to send you referrals and act as an advocate for a business.

Do you know why most customers stop buying from a business? The majority of customers leave because they feel the business doesn’t care about them. So how do you stop them from leaving?

I will share a strategy that you can start using today.

Contrary to what many people think, marketing is not just about advertising or sales. This view of marketing is centred on the transaction. To increase customer retention rates, however, businesses need to spend more time and effort nurturing customer relationships. This is called relationship marketing.

It is difficult to establish, develop, and maintain successful relationships with customers if they are not shown any appreciation for their patronage. I don’t know anyone who likes to be treated simply as a source of revenue. Do you? We all want to be appreciated, as shown by these quotes:

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated."
 -- William James

"Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.´ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life." -- Mary Kay Ash

Indeed a little appreciation goes a long way.

Many businesses are quick to send out promotional materials by email and snail mail. We’ve probably all received those, and, let’s admit it, unless we’re ready to buy right there and then, we often delete or ignore these emails and throw the flyers and brochures away.

But a sincere note or greeting card thanking the customer for their business and referrals can go a long way towards making them feel appreciated and more likely to keep doing business with you.

It’s easy to surprise and delight your clients with a simple, yet unexpected gift.

I send heartfelt cards and sometimes, gifts, to all of my customers every year to thank them for continuing to do business with me. I remember this particular year when one of my customers (we’ll call her “Jo”) replied with a note saying she had been thinking of discontinuing the use of my marketing system, not because she didn’t like it – she loved it – but because she felt she no longer had the budget for it.

Jo said she didn’t want to end the strong relationship we had, and so she thought she would hold off making a decision on the matter. Then, to her great surprise, she received an unexpected thank you card and a small gift from me and, in her own words, this provided the answer she had been looking for. She was inspired and encouraged by my heartfelt card and gift, and she decided to find a way to keep using my service.

This story shows you can offer a great product or service and still have clients leave, especially if they are not emotionally invested in your product or service.

Any savvy business owner knows how important it is to stand out from the crowd of competitors. These days, it’s so easy for your customers to search online for a similar product or service to what you are offering. To discourage your clients from checking out the competition, you’ll need to make them feel so appreciated they won’t want to go anywhere else.

It’s the difference between taking customers for granted and taking the time to make them feel special. Remember the Maya Angelou quote: “they’ll never forget how you made them feel”?

Treat customers and clients like dates, and they are more likely to keep doing business with you. How are you going to ensure they feel like you care? Celebrate your clients by sending them surprise cards and gifts. This will delight them and encourage their loyalty.


What I offer:

I help solopreneurs and small business owners use relationship marketing to boost their customer retention, get referrals and increase customer satisfaction. To find out how to get more out of your marketing efforts, please tweet @socialsoul or email


"One good customer well taken care of could be worth more than $10,000 worth of advertising."

   - Jim Rohn


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