How does your company treat customer acquisition – like marriage or speed dating? The answer to this question will help decide your organization’s survival odds. Consider this dating world analogy…
What if I assigned a goal for you to go on Match.com and get 30 dates each quarter? No problem, right? It’s an easy task. Take enough chances and reach the goal. It’s a numbers game. The more attempts, the more success. Apply the effort and achieve the objective.
Now, let’s change the process just a little bit. The goal remains the same. Go to Match.com and get 30 dates each quarter. The difference now is that at any point in the quarter I can unilaterally end the game and declare that your current/most recent “date” would be your spouse – for life.
Would that difference change how you selected a date? You bet it would!
Back in the business world, the problem is that companies acquire customers as if they could take multiple chances as long as they want. Companies can certainly treat customer acquisition like speed dating. But don’t be surprised if this cavalier attitude leads to many costly divorces (to continue the analogy).
Instead, companies must forge long-term relationships with their customers for mutual benefit. Customer acquisition must lead to long-term suitability since acquiring a customer is just the beginning of a relationship. (A good marriage, we hope.) Adding a degree of difficulty to this endeavor is the possibility that corporate and customer goals may diverge over time. (An amicable divorce?)
The pivot point is to acquire the right customers. Many companies will try to speed date their way to success. But if they damage enough customer relationships (break enough hearts) their reputation will proceed them next time.