The Marketing Dream: Make it hard for them to leave

A recent article on a BtoB Marketing website titled “Facebook user satisfaction dips; could face user exodus,” reports that the online service’s customer satisfaction has hit an all-time low. In fact, half of those questioned in an informal poll were prepared to abandon the social network in favor of Google+.

Interestingly enough, one of our own here at Arketi recently experienced rejection with the opposite effect, when his own family refused invitations to join his circle in Google+. The reasoning? They did not want to update and maintain yet another network with their status, photos, and more.

Isn’t that one of our dreams as marketers? Have the switching costs be so high, that folks would rather stay with you than go through the pain of moving? An even more favorable marketing dream is that customer satisfaction is so high that people don’t want to leave you even if they easily could.

Even as you read this, your competitors are attempting to make it easy for your customers to switch by providing free installation, easy transfer of data, 30-day trials, and so on. Ask yourself, “What are we doing to increase switching costs?” or “Are we making our service so vital, so central to and so integrated with someone’s life or work, that switching seems too painful to even attempt it?”

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Again, the focus should not be on making it painful to switch, but on increasing customer satisfaction. The good news is that these two objectives are not mutually exclusive. Smart BtoB marketers focus on increasing switching costs by adding more value.

For example, a software company could do this through more tightly integrated software solutions, by enabling more users across the organization to use the software, and by providing a consistent stream of software updates. Does this sound like the software products your organization currently uses?

When this approach is taken, the increase in switching pain is tied to something that the customer actually wants and values. The customer is more satisfied with a solution that it is also more difficult to leave. Now that’s something to dream for.

If you are looking for assistance with a marketing or customer retention campaign, we’re always happy to help. Start a dialogue with Arketi at

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