Do you agree that it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one?

We engaged the services of a business to conduct our planning permission application for my mother’s house.

The application failed. They sent us the decline notice, and that was it—no guidance by the company who submitted the application as to what to do next.

They were devoid of apology or responsibility and blamed us for not providing all of the required documents. To some extent, this is true, as a couple of documents were missing, but that was not the entire reason it failed.

When I looked at the submission online, it was clear that their work was not quality checked before submission, and in fact, ‘sparse,’ as outlined in the council’s report.

It’s amazing that as business owners, we are constantly marketing for new leads, referrals, and repeat business but blind to the importance of serving existing customers well.

According to research done by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increase profits by 25% to 95%.

If they had paid more attention to detail and had an attitude of let’s see how we can work this out together there would have been more work on the horizon as I had arranged for another planning application elsewhere, but that will not happen now.

I’ve asked the question in recent posts: how do you know your client is better off after you have walked away? You know by your commitment to the customer’s experience and the extent you go to understanding what they value.

In this case, all we needed was reassurance about what would happen next and timelines. We would have been happy and even paid more to ensure the re-submission was successful.

Sometimes all you have to do is look after the customers you have.