Are you really willing to be devoted to your customer?

wedding ringsWhat’s the ultimate goal of marketing? Converting prospects to customers. Sales. Profits. Brand loyalty.

In short, marriage.

You market to prospects (courting) to convert them to customers (dating) and hope to have them for a lifetime (marrying). And marriage is hard work, as any married or formerly married person will tell you! Marriage requires devotion and commitment. Marriage means constantly thinking about the other person and never taking them for granted. Marriage means putting the other person’s best interests ahead of yours.

Many marriages end because the two people don’t have the required level of commitment over the long haul. Sure, they loved each other, but they weren’t willing to give and do all it took to make the marriage work. Maybe if more people knew just how dang hard it would be, we’d have fewer marriages and therefore fewer divorces?

But winning over a customer after all that hard work of marketing (dating) means being willing to keep them as a customer. I’m sure you’ve all seen the statistic that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your customers, yet we spend 80% of our time trying to get new customers rather than trying to please the existing ones. There’s much more talk of customer acquisition than customer retention, it seems.

If marketing is like dating, and I think it is, then you have to be willing to stay committed to that customer after you’ve won them over.

Are you ready to be married to your customers?

As I thought on this topic, I tried to think of companies I buy from or have bought from that have made me feel like they were committed to me, like I mattered to them. But all I can think of are examples of Las Vegas style marriages, where it seemed like a good idea at the time, but then I as the customer was dumped soon after.

What does it take to marry a customer? Can we in our go, go, go and do, do, do and sell, sell, sell society ever really commit to a customer? Or are our customers destined to end up in divorce court, disillusioned and hoping they can find another company to supply whatever need they were hoping to count on you for?

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