Dear John: We’re Breaking Up

Dear John: We’re Breaking Up
So, just like any successful relationship, you need to make sure you are engaged, supportive, and communicative with your customers.

I am sure many of us have received a “Dear John” letter – though I have been lucky and all of my heartbreaking demoralizing break-ups have been in person! The companies where you work most likely get “Dear John” letters every day – they cause customer attrition and revenue to go out the door. But like most of us after a break-up, we need to do a self-evaluation (and maybe a trip to Vegas) about why it happened. When we look back, we usually realize there were caution signs beforehand. This is easier at an individual relationship, but how do you be more proactive when looking at millions of customers?

There are some very specific approaches marketers can use in all industries:

  • Always converse and be engaged with your partner: Ensure you are analyzing and responding across the customer lifecycle. Acquire, cross-sell, up sell, retain and nurture – which is often nuanced depending on your industry.

  • Don’t take advantage of your partner: Treat each customer in a personalized manner – not a generalized segment.

  • Money problems: Make sure you are both getting value. Make sure your customer gets what they want and you meet your business objectives.

At the heart of this is your relationship with the customer and how you prioritize each and every one – My peer Mark Davies, a communications and media expert, does a great job speaking about retention in a number of blogs. Moreover, he highlights the way marketers need to see customers from a lifetime value perspective to ensure a balance of their needs and your company’s needs – this is true across any industry.

So, just like any successful relationship, you need to make sure you are engaged, supportive, and communicative with your customers. Unless, of course, you take the case of my high-school girlfriend, who said upon our break-up, “Ed you need a better car! SORRY!”


Customer relationships are a lot like personal relationships. Do you know how to maintain a happy, long lasting relationship with your customers?

Download the 6 Engagement Strategies to Keep the Customers You Want e-book to learn how.