Peter was one of the most famous Dutch literary characters,and he first appeared in a short story about Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates.  This story was penned by author Mary Mapes Dodge, and prior to the novel being published, she had never actually visited the Netherlands.  The narrative tells how this young man saved his town when he noticed a hole in the dike or dam, and he put his finger in that breach to stop the flow of water.  The irony of the story is that even though statues have been erected in various Dutch towns to commemorate the event for tourists, the account is not widely known in the Netherlands.


Stemming the Tide

This vignette is shared with children to depict overcoming odds, heroism, self-sacrifice, and honor. But while it is a quaint and entertaining story, the truth of the matter is when a dike is about to rupture a finger will not stem the tide.  When a dike, levee or dam is about to break it typically means that the structure has been weakened, and it is only a matter of time before whole sections are washed away.  Emergency measures need to be taken and a more robust and substantial temporary solution must be found, while a plan is formed to inspect and solve the systemic issues to avoid a re-occurrence in the future.

Cost of Dissatisfaction


Far too often organizations expect their Customer Service, Business Development or Project Management teams to be that Dutch boy plugging the holes to retain existing customers. They are like that young boy standing at the dike running out of fingers trying to stem the tide.  Filling the pipeline with new customers and new business is the expectation, but if the existing customers are leaking out the back-end, growth will remain flat or worse yet the new business will not be enough to offset the drip, drip, drip of revenue erosion.  If issues are ignored or put off for too long, the drip becomes a steady trickle until finally the wave of Customer dissatisfaction breaks through and devastates your profitability.  According to Aspect Market Research, 70% of customers take their business elsewhere due to poor customer service.  In our transient employment environment, it is typical to see a former customer move to another organization that you are targeting for new business.  If they had a bad experience with you before,it is highly likely they will be an impediment to you getting business with their new employer.

Importance of Customer Retention


It is a well-known fact that it is far easier and more cost-effective to grow your revenue and market share with customers with whom you are already doing business, and on their approved vendor list (AVL).  In a report published by Bain &Company, it was determined that retaining and serving long-term customers actually translates into cost savings and that just a “ 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.”  And according to Forbes, you are likely to spend FIVE times more to attract a new customer as opposed to focusing on nurturing and satisfying new ones.  Even with this data, it is still surprising that 44% of companies have a greater focus on customer acquisition versus customer retention.  

ATG has years of experience and expertise to assist your organization with Customer Engagement,Satisfaction and Retention initiatives.   ATG has developed tools and solutions to aid you with Voice of the Customer (VOC) interviews which are Industry, Technology, and Department-specific.  ATG will jointly design VOC questions with your organization and conduct the interviews on your behalf and provide the results that allow you to identify areas that need to be shored up and aid you with customer retention.  ATG focuses on assisting your organization with Accelerated Tangible Growth.  Contact us today to learn more about our Customer Engagement and Retention solutions.

Back to Blogs

Subscribe to our blog

Learn about our latest insights and tips from Accelerated Tangible Growth

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form