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For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.

For instance, it was fun eating the Halloween candy you should’ve been handing out to trick-or-treaters.

But, a rumbly tummy and eggs all over your house are natural parts of the reaction.

Among those of us in Customer Success and customer loyalty, the same thing applies.

If acquiring and thrilling customers is our main action, then finding and dealing with bad customers is just as important.

It’s not fun. In fact, it stinks. Bad customers are still customers after all, and they’ve willingly agreed to give you their money.

As profitable and valuable as loyal customers are, bad customers can be equally as damaging. They're costly to service in both dollars and hours, and in the end they’re likely to damage your brand and reputation.

So someone has to deal with them.

In this day and age, when consumers have more choices on where to spend their money, and more economic incentive to be overly selective about those choices, having a throw-away benefit is risky. It leads customers to question where their dollars are going, and gives them no reason to continue engaging beyond an initial perusal.

Here's why member benefits are so important: unless an organization makes great smartphones, computers, televisions or automobiles, chances are their customers aren't interacting with the brand every day. There's a good chance they've totally forgotten the organization entirely. This makes for an awkward conversation when bills come due or the customer is asked to make another purchase.

An Example of How Not to Benefit Your Customers

A mid-sized company looking for a discount program benefit contacted us about a year ago. After a few meetings and demos, they were totally seeing the positives of a quality program. Then when the time to make the decision came, they went with a freebie solution - a compilation of affiliate deals that drive small amounts of transactional revenue back to the organization.

It didn't matter if people wouldn't actually use or benefit from the program, they explained, because the company just needed to check the "discount program" box so their benefits could match what their competitors offered.

Stated simply, customer engagement is the depth of the relationship a customer has with a brand.

It’s a fair question that’s being asked with more frequency, as businesses are realizing that customer loyalty is largely a result of frequent positive engagement. As the typical consumer wields power with more information and choices, engagement has become the primary channel to ensure that a brand is “top of mind” when a purchase needs to occur.

Customer engagement is built and rebuilt (or destroyed) with every brand interaction, whether that’s making a purchase, reading a Tweet, joining a loyalty program, receiving an email, passing by a billboard, stumbling onto an online review, having a conversation with a friend, or any other exposure to a brand.

Each of those interactions hopefully connects the brand with the customer’s needs and preferences. Create those relevant messages with frequency, and that’s how customer engagement is built.

There’s a longtime adage in business that says it costs five times more (or even more) to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. It’s cited all over the place, but no one is quite clear on its origins. Don Peppers attributed it to a Harvard Business Review article “from a couple decades ago.” Ipsos Loyalty says it’s outright untrue.

The truth is, there are a number of cost variables every company has in play that muddy the waters between retention and acquisition. There are complicating factors on each side of the equation, but in general, it’s going to cost more to bring a customer in than to keep one in the fold.

That makes it sound so easy. Combine it with the Pareto Principle (80% of sales will come from 20% of customers) and you’ve got yourself a simple game plan for untold fortunes.

What those adages don’t mention is that customer retention is harder than acquisition.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jan 16, 2018 8:34:00 AM

Just as we think we're starting to figure Millennials out, time brings us another, even more bizarre generation.
Gen Z, or those born between 2000 and 2016, are sometimes referred to as Centennials. And they're going to be a handful. 
These young folks are just starting to wield their economic power worldwide, but they've already impacted the way companies market and sell their products.
For example, ask someone 18 or younger who their favorite celebrity is and they won't name a singer or movie star. You'll hear about a YouTube vlogger, or a Snapchat celebrity.
Yeah, it's a different generation.
They're even more phone obsessed with Millennials, and even more price-savvy. Their social consciousness runs deep, but so does their desire to be seen and envied (most are still teenagers, of course).
To help you navigate what drives this generation's engagement and loyalty preferences, we've created this public database of statistics. It's smaller than our other collections for the moment, but give it a bookmark and check back periodically as we'll be adding data frequently.
Also, be sure to check out our other stats databases, including Millenial Loyalty Stats, Loyalty Stats (across all generations, of course), 2018 Loyalty Stats, and Coupons.
Have data that should be on here? Or want us to hunt down data for you? Leave us a comment and let us know.

2018 is the year you're going to make a ton of money. Even more than you're already making.

Some of it will come from new customers. 

But the majority of it will come from those already in your fold.

Hey, you're already here, on a customer engagement blog, so you've already taken the first step: getting serious about retention.

What happens from here? If they haven't already, 2018 is going to be the year when your executive team wakes up to the money they're losing out on by pursuing new business at the expense of current customers.

If they don't see it, you're going to be the one to pull that sword out of the stone and change the way your company does business.

Here's the good news.