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 organisation has with a customer and continues throughout the entire lifetime of a relationship. A company’s 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, it’s 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 valueat the center of business strategy’. The key differentiator in a competitive environment is more often than not the delivery of a consistently high standard of customer service.
Customer retention has a direct impact on profitability. Research by John Fleming and Jim Asplund indicates that engaged customers generate 1.7 times more revenue than normal customers, while having engaged employees and engaged customers returns a revenue gain of 3.4 times the norm.
1 Customer lifetime value
Customer lifetime value enable an organization to calculate the net present value of the profit an organization will realize on a customer over a given period of time. Retention Rate is the percentage of the total number of customers retained in context to the customers that approached for cancellation.
2 Standardization of Customer Service
Published standards exist to help organizations deliver process driven customer satisfaction in order to increase the lifespan of a customer. The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI) has released The International Customer Service Standard (TICSS). TICSS enables organizations to focus their attention on delivering excellence in the management of customer service, whilst at the same time providing recognition of success through a 3rd Party registration scheme. TICSS focuses an organization’s attention on delivering increased customer satisfaction by helping the organization through a Service Quality Model. TICSS Service Quality Model uses the 5 P's - -Policy, -Processes,People,Premises,Product/Service, as well as performance measurement. The implementation of a customer service standard should lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction, which in turn increases customer loyalty and customer retention.
Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. According to Turban et al. (2002), "Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation." Its importance varies by products, industry and customer; defective or broken merchandise can be exchanged, often only with a receipt and within a specified time frame. Retail stores often have a desk or counter devoted to dealing with returns, exchanges and complaints, or will perform related functions at the point of sale; the perceived success of such interactions being dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest," according to Micah Solomon quoted in Inc. Magazine.
From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. A customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer has of the organization.
Some have argued that the quality and level of customer service has decreased in recent years, and...