On average, it’s about six and a half times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep one. However, in some industries, the ratio is less meaningful due to people seeking new, unique experiences anyway. Out of two bakeries in your vicinity, equally distant, which one will you end up revisiting? Chances are the one with superior products and service. Repeat business is crucial for bakeries.
For businesses active in the so-called experience economy, repeat business may be significantly less critical. Consumers looking for thrills prefer new experiences anyway. In this case, referral — the number of additional customers one customer provides — becomes even more critical.
Let’s take a hotel (chain). While exploring online, the rooms look marvelous. Stylized, modern, and quirky. The tricky part is presenting the essential aspects of a hotel room that aren’t necessarily visual, such as quietness. A room with walls as thin as paper in a narrow street with no sound isolation makes for a suboptimal stay. Guess where you won’t be staying again?
On a micro level, this may not cause a problem for that particular hotel. Still, if it’s a chain, it’s actually a big problem. Let’s say the chain has seven hotels in seven countries. That’s slightly more chances missed than the above retention equation.
Promote your hotel, or any other business for that matter, honestly. If you can’t, you have a problem. Not so much with promotion but with the actual company or product.