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What's the message to new customers?

It's not surprising that those coming through the front door often disappear out the back door.

Before someone becomes a customer, chances are they will get more attention than they will over the next couple of years - if we don't count the "I want to sell you something" contacts. Then, if customers don't respond to the sales pitches, there are fewer and fewer contacts - until they stop.

This is a scenario that occurs so frequently, customers know what to expect: first, they're courted; then, they're dropped like a jilted lover. To overcome the "letdown feeling," some companies introduce what they call "customer care," which may include what they will do to build an ongoing relationship. Again, this raises expectations and increases the chances of disappointment.

It's not surprising that those coming through the front door often disappear out the back door. This happens not only in companies, but all types of organizations. Work hard to get the fish in the boat, but not so much to keep them there.

What you can do about it:

  1. Give customer retention the same level of attention and support that you give sales.
  2. Select highly competent people and train them in relationship management.
  3. Constantly evolve the relationship program by trying out new ideas gleaned from customer feedback.

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