The difference between customer satisfaction and customer retention is that a customer can be happy, they can be loyal, they can sing the praises of your amazing customer service and then, for any number of reasons, you can lose that customer.

There’s this thinking in business that if you strive to provide the best service possible and keep customers extremely satisfied, for the most part they’ll remain loyal and continue to do business with you.  The general consensus is that if we provide good service and good quality products, then customer retention will take care of itself.

That’s the general thinking anyways…

Of course, it’s a myth.

Retention is far more complex than simply providing exceptional and high quality customer service or claiming you make the best lasagna in town. Everyone has better service than everyone else. Everyone makes the best lasagna in town. Everyone’s positioning is the best. Yet, everyone is looking for the magic customer faucet that keeps the water flowing into the bucket.

You, on the other hand, are much smarter than that. Rather than racing to fill the constantly emptying bucket, you’re focused on patching the existing holes. Retention isn’t a natural consequence of everything else – it’s something that you must work towards constantly and consciously.  Of course it’s easier when everything else is in place!  But if you don’t focus specifically on it, then you’re only going to end up disappointed.

Effective marketing means effective retention of current customers and not just focusing on getting new ones.