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The Concept of Customer Retention
Customer Retention is a marketing tool used in creating customerâ€™s loyalty in order to retain them (Morns, 2007). However, Dennis (2008) opined that customer retention involves creating customer value through the improvement of products and services in order to satisfy customers so that an organization can retain their existing customers.
The best customer retention programs proactively analyze customer behavior in order to identify and address at risk customers before they defect. However, when the loyalty program is not successful, it is usually up to the contact center to â€œsaveâ€ the customer. Effective customer retention programs are enabled by customer relationship management (CRM) and analytics solutions. Formal and informal contact centers need these underlying systems in order to serve as the first line of defense for businesses of all sizes-small, mid-market and enterprise that threatened with losing their customers to competitors (Okoh, 2009).
Customer Retention Strategies
Customer retention strategies are the techniques that an organization undertakes in order to reduce customer defections. Successful customer retention starts with the first contact an organization has with a customer and continues throughout the entire lifetime of a relationship. A companyâ€™s ability to attract and retain new customers, is not only related to its product or services, but strongly related to the way it services its existing customers and the reputation it creates within and across the marketplace.The following are some customer retention strategies:
Relationship Marketing (RM)
Relationship Marketing (RM) was popularised by Berry (1983, P. 25) as an approach aimed at â€œattracting, maintaining and enhancing customer relationshipsâ€. This understanding of doing business from a marketing point of view implied a radical change from the previous perspective: Although not explicitly outlined above, the transactional marketing approach emphasised the application of the marketing mix. McCarthyâ€™s (1960) simplification of the marketing mix, composed of four ingredients (e.g. Product, Price, Place and Promotion), has received severe criticism regarding its limitations.