By Marc Astley

How much effort do you put into retaining customers compared to gaining them?

I ask the question because I have just written to a well-known wine membership company to tell them I think their ratios are all wrong.

They spent weeks wooing me with offers of gifts, free delivery, tasting notes and the like.

Their chirpy sales staff rang me on a regular basis to tell me about ‘exclusive’ upgrades, secret finds and fabulous discounts.

All of the marketing collateral I received was slick, glossy and convincing.

But they ultimately failed…

They failed because when it came to the crunch, when I told them I was unhappy and when I cancelled my membership, explaining that I was fed up of being pestered and didn’t approve of the high alcohol content in many of the bottles, they didn’t seem to care.

All I got was an impersonal, automated response.

And to add insult to injury, they asked me for the feedback I had already given.

This is a great example of how NOT to do things.

If this company put just 10 per cent of the effort they make on gaining clients on actually retaining them, they’d have a much better business model…

Customers are hard to find. Once you have them you need to love, celebrate and listen to them.

Otherwise your glossy marketing material, those expensive promotions and all of that knowledge isn’t worth a jot.