We treat every customer as if they're our only customer

August 27, 2013

4 minute read

Here at Adlib it’s part of my job to think and write about the customer experience. Platitudes abound about why customers should come first, but actually living and breathing customer satisfaction is a task that everyone at Adlib is involved in.


Because customers who believe in our products and services tell other prospects, they buy more, they understand, and they stay customers for a very long time.

Merely satisfying them is not enough. We go above and beyond meeting their expectations.

Here are 15 points of evidence from an article by Colin Shaw that explain why we do this…

1. Price is not the main reason for customer churn; it’s actually due to the overall poor quality of customer service – Accenture global customer satisfaction report 2008.

2. A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related than price- or product-related – Bain & Company.

3. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.

4. For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent – Lee Resource.

5. A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.

6. 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those simply leave and never come back – 1Financial Training services.

7. A dissatisfied customer will tell 9-15 people about the experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

8. Happy customers who get their issues resolved tell 4-6 people about their experiences. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

9. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated – McKinsey.

10. 55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee better service – Defaqto research.

11. Customers who rate you 5 on a scale from 1 to 5 are six times more likely to buy from you again, compared to “only” giving you a score of 4.8. – TeleFaction data research.

12. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience – Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner.

13. A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5 – 95% – Bain & Company

14. It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one – Bain & Company.

15. eCommerce spending for new customers is on average $24.50, compared to $52.50 for repeat customers – McKinsey.


Number 4 is the most interesting to me. Those 26 customers might remain silent to us about their dissatisfaction, but they’re probably telling someone else. So if we went about thinking that unhappy customers don’t affect our future sales — we’d be incorrect and lose critical business.

Prospects buy from word of mouth, and now it’s even easier to go online and see a review of a company’s performance. There are forums and discussion boards where members give unbiased views of their experiences. Buyers considering handing you money pay attention to customers you’re not giving attention to.

All employees need to be aware of the language they use when interacting with customers. Employees must be empowered and ready to meet customer needs.

Our goal is to treat every customer as if they are our only customer. By doing this we exceed their expectations and create fanatical users of our products.

Let’s face it… it’s how we all want to be treated.

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