"Upside Down Marketing" Keeps Customers on the "Conveyor Belt"* (Marketing Memo, June, 2005)
Companies should devote more time selling to current and former customers than to seeking new customers, George Walther claims in Upside Down Marketing. The cost of winning a new customer is four to ten times the cost of salvaging an existing customer. Complainers are twice as likely to buy again as non-complaining, but dissatisfied, customers. If you resolve complainer's problems, they are six times as likely to buy again. If you resolve their problems quickly and professionally, they are nine times as likely to buy again, according to studies from TARP.*
All customer-facing employees should help keep "wavering" customers on the "conveyor belt." Walther writes about the CEO of an industrial products company who values preserving relationships with "wavering" or lapsed customers. To the CEO, lapsed customers are a source of trend information. He finds that converting dissatisfied customers decreases negative publicity.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COMPLAINERS
"MARKET BY CALLING CUSTOMERS"
* George Walther, Upside Down Marketing, McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994.
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