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Why a “satisfied customer” is bad news


According to Bob Harris, president of Attrition Busters, “A satisfied customer is eight times more likely to switch to a competitor than a delighted customer. When one of these satisfied customers leaves, so does recurring revenue. The cost to replace $1.00 of recurring revenue in the average service business is approximately $33.00, in the insurance/finance services business $57.00, and in the telecommunications business $84.00.”

“Most unhappy customers will never come forward and indicate dissatisfaction with a service received. Ninety-six percent will just disappear and move on to the next service provider,” Harris further comments.

Ed Delia, President of Delia Associates, a full service advertising and marketing firm based in Whitehouse, New Jersey, has provided guidance in this area to recipients of his well-received e-newsletter “Brand Matters.” In the e-newsletter, Delia states “When that complaint comes in, jump all over it. Ask lots of questions, and really listen. Show with decisive action that the message was received loud and clear. This is how to delight a customer and turn the worst complainer into a most loyal advocate. This is why being relentlessly brand conscious is so important.”

“Branding tactics help to remind customers why they are doing business with your company in the first place. Without that reinforcement, customers eventually find excuses to drift off to the competition. This is why branding is more valuable in retaining the customers you already have, than in attracting new ones. Just like customer acquisition versus customer retention, brand loyalty is easier to maintain than it is to create,” Delia further states.

How can a company’s brand delight customers? It’s not just a name; it’s a company’s personality, core identity and the way it is perceived. A company’s unique brand identity should be leveraged at every point of contact.

For information on how branding tactics contribute to heighten the levels of customer loyalty go to

Ed Delia is President of Delia Associates, a Whitehouse, NJ-based firm that helps sales and marketing executives from mid-market companies leverage brand awareness and technology to achieve market leadership.


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