Acquiring and retaining clients
Modern business environment is experiencing a lot of competition among firms. The number of clients a firm has is a major determinant of the profits made. All business activities are focused on the customers because they are the final users of all goods and services. Maximizing profits can only be achieved by acquiring and retaining a large number of clients. Managers should focus on the two aspects of marketing to ensure they maintain profitability. In this paper I will argue out the importance of client acquisition over client retention. On the other hand, I will discuss the importance of client retention over client acquisition. Finally I will discuss state the more important aspects of the argument according to my opinion.
Client acquisition is a higher priority than client retention. Acquiring clients is a process which involves costs and the managers should have adequate resources to carry out this exercise (Bicker, 1996). To acquire new clients a company should come up with effective promotional strategies. A lot of advertising is done to attract new clients and a business entity should put a higher priority in the client acquisition process. Client retention is a secondary process which is preceded by client acquisition. Few resources are used in retaining clients than acquiring them. According to Kenworthy and Rodrigues (2007, p. 231), “it will cost more money and take more time to find a new client than to retain an existing client.” Firms operating in a new market aim at maximizing the number of clients they have because penetrating a market requires attracting as many clients as possible. According to Smith (2010) client acquisition is a costly process which managers should appreciate. Product differentiation in most industries has caused many customers to have a variety of products to choose from. The availability of many products in the market requires attracting as many customers as possible. In some cases customers are one-time buyers and there is no need to retain them. Once these customers purchase from the business they have no other opportunity to buy similar items in their life time. In such a case firms are required to focus on attracting customers more than retaining them (Scott & Lee, 2006).
Client retention is a higher priority than client acquisition. Long-term survival of a business depends on the ability to retain clients (Kenworthy & Rodrigues, 2007). Customer loyalty is an aspect that many companies are using to compete in turbulent markets. Financial stability of a business depends on the ability to retain customers. It is a common happening that potential clients develop more confidence on firms that have customers who have stayed with them for a long period of time. A high rate of client turnover is an indicator of inefficiency in maintaining a good client relationship. It is also an indicator that the managers are not running the business properly (Kenworthy & Rodrigues, 2007). When clients are satisfied by the goods and services of a firm they tend to have repeat-buying behavior. Retaining clients requires satisfying their needs. Focusing too much on client acquisition may lead to an organization dealing with clients who are not in the growth point of the market, or clients who are not profitable or buy poorly. Retaining high quality customers is more important than acquiring a large number of clients with few benefits to the business. Barrett and Males (1990) have explained that firms with a tendency of accepting every client who comes to them end up loosing focus and may limit the competitiveness of their products.
In my own opinion, client retention is more important than client acquisition. Existing clients maintain the profitability of a company even during turbulent economic conditions. When a firm satisfies its clients, new clients are attracted but satisfying new clients does not retain existing clients. Firms should invest more marketing resources on retaining existing clients than acquiring new clients. I concur with the findings of Barrett and Males (1990) that “research shows it is more profitable and cheaper to sell to existing customers than to get new customers.” Maintaining a high level of customer retention can be achieved only by focusing on customer retention strategies. Firms intending to have long term survival in the market should focus on retaining customers.
Competition in the modern business environment has intensified and firms are seeking better strategies of acquiring and retaining clients. Client acquisition has been identified as the most important process and managers should aim at investing more resources in this exercise. On the other hand, client retention is secondary to client acquisition and has a lesser importance. Firms should aim at maintaining and retaining the existing clients more than acquiring a large number of clients. Even though retaining clients is more important than acquiring clients, managers should not neglect strategies to acquire clients for a sustainable existence in the market.
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