Some customers are loyal; others will leave you on a whim. What can you do to keep those customers who are buying from you because it’s convenient but would switch to a competitor for a slightly lower price or because you have service failure?
Consider making it so hard for them to leave that they won’t because it’s not worth the effort. It’s what banks do—their strategy to is get customers to have at least four different accounts (checking, savings, investment, consumer loan, mortgage loan, vehicle loan, safe deposit box, etc.). You might get mad at the bank or even find a better deal somewhere else, but when you think about moving your accounts, it’s just too much trouble—so you stay. Communication companies (phone companies, cable companies, etc.) are doing the same thing when they offer discounts if you bundle your service. If you have your cell phone, landline, television, and internet access all with the same company, you’re going to think long and hard about switching providers for any reason because it will be a huge hassle.
What can you do to make it difficult for customers to leave? Can you put together product and service packages? Offer loyalty programs that reward long-time customers? Discounts for repeat business?
Ideally, of course, your customers should be staying with you because they want to. But in the real world of business, that’s not how it always is. In addition to offering superior service and excellent products, it makes sense to set up barriers to leaving you so that customers have to think twice before they do. Do what you can do to make your customers want to stay and, at the same time, do what you can do to make it hard for them to leave.