Plug the Bucket

Customer Retention

If you think that marketing activity should be solely focused on gaining new customers, you need to read this!

New customers are great. Of course we need to market ourselves to new prospects. But how about the people who already know you, like you and trust you.. are you neglecting them? It's simple maths: it costs you more to gain a new customer and then sell to them than it does to make another sale to an existing customer.

Assuming you've been in business a while, you have customers that you have been delivering your product and service to; some of whom you saw just last week, others you haven’t seen since the first week you were doing business. By using the "Plug the Bucket Strategy" (loving up the customers you have, so they keep coming back) you will not only reduce your lead costs into the business but also increase the amount of money a customer spends with you, more times. A double win!
That’s why it's strategy so important, and why I wanted to get you thinking about it today. In terms of the pay off, applying this will really give you bang for your buck.

You probably already know this, but let me explain. It costs you something to get a customer. Whether it’s the cost of your time, or the $ investment you have made into your marketing activities, you will very rarely (dare I say never) gain a new client for free. It also costs you to get a new lead (that’s right – a prospective customer – not even someone who pays you money yet!). Despite this, so many business owners let their customers "go to the orphanage" after they have done business with them just once. This is practically throwing money away!

Plug the Bucket

The average business will lose customers not because the customer shifts location, has a friend in the business, or dies, but because of perceived indifference. That’s right – the customer simply thinks that the business owner does not care whether they purchase from them or the business down the road. Let’s face it – if you are not communicating with them – why should they think any differently?

I have over 70 strategies around how you can ‘plug the bucket’ and increase your customer retention rate but this is my number one tip.....

Constant and consistent communication(I have my clients tattoo this on their mind, haven't convinced any to get a physical tattoo of it yet, but am still trying).

Constant and consistent communication is the only way to ensure your customers keep coming back to you and stop dropping off.

What might this look like? A monthly newsletter; a referral program; a rewards program; social media; follow-up phone calls, to name a few.

You might think you have nothing to say to your clients, so I ask you this – do all your customers know all your products and services? The answer to this is almost always no, so I suggest that this is a good place to start in ensuring your bucket is water-tight and your existing customers cared for.

If you'd like to discuss this further, I'm always here to give straight-up advice. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Lisa Ormenyessy

Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

I help SME's gain leads easily without breaking the bank. Talk with me and discover how to spend your marketing dollar and achieve sales using simple, proven, low cost strategies. | SavvySME Members Only Offer - Request your Free Marketing Review Session (valued at $397) & identify the hidden opportunities in your business & put a stop to the expensive leaks in your marketing

Comments (3)
Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang, Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

Wow, that's an eye opener! Now that I look back on my experiences as a customer, it is true.

Yee Trinh

Yee Trinh, Cofounder at

You get out what you put in after all.. Great article

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