When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers (Infographic)

August 19, 2013

From small businesses to huge corporations, everyone wants to know the secret to keeping customers. How do we earn repeat business for years and years to come?

In the infographic below, we use various customer retention statistics to break down the three most important aspects of customer retention:

  • Why Customers Leave
  • Why Customers Stick, and
  • Why Retained Customers Mean Money

Understanding customer retention begins with understanding the drivers behind customer loyalty and defection, then this understanding must be supported by organizational buy-in to the economic benefits of retention. The retention statistics below can support this process in your organization.

We hope you enjoy the infographic. Please feel free to share it with your colleagues and communities.

When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers

Customer Retention by the Numbers | Customer Service Infographic

Sources for the Customer Retention Statistics Above

While the convention on most infographics seems to be generic, non-specific sourcing, we wanted to provide actual sources for the statistics used in the infographic. We attempted to find primary sourcing as much as possible. In cases when we relied on secondary sourcing that did not seem definitive, we notated that fact after the citation.

Why Customers Leave

  • 82% of consumers in the U.S. said they stopped doing business… > Citation
  • 73% was a reaction to rude staff… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 78% of consumers in the U.S. said they have bailed on a transaction… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 68% of consumers leave because they were upset with treatment… > Citation (Note: Primary sourcing could not be found, though this statistic is widely quoted through secondary sources.)

Why Customers Stick

  • What parts of the customer experience cause customers to stick… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 92% of consumers said they would go back after a negative experience… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • What happened when an organization responded to a customer’s negative comment… > Citation
  • 85% of customers are willing to pay more… > Citation (link no longer active)

Retained Customers Mean Money

  • The cost of bringing a new customer to the same level of profitability is up to 16x more… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 10x more expensive to acquire… > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 4-6x more expensive to acquire…* > Citation (link no longer active)
  • 5x more expensive to acquire… > Citation Alan E. Webber, “B2B Customer Experience Priorities In An Economic Downturn: Key Customer Usability Initiatives In A Soft Economy,” Forrester Research, February 19, 2008
  • 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor… > Citation
  • Increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25%-95%… > Citation
  • 2% increase in retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.. > Citation (From the book, Leading on the Edge of Chaos)
  • Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much… > Citation (Note: Primary sourcing could not be found, though this statistic is widely quoted through secondary sources.)
  • Repeat customers spend 67% more… > Citation

11 thoughts on “When Customers Stick: Customer Retention by the Numbers (Infographic)”

  1. Great infographic and really interesting. I’m curious if this was focused on B2C or B2B. Although there are many crossovers I can also see someone stopping purchasing from Enterprise is a little different than in a B2B capacity or software (perhaps more complex). Just curious of the numbers. Thanks!

    1. Hi Grace,

      Thank you for your comment! As you can tell from the sourcing, the data in the infographic represents a wide variety of studies from a variety of sources. Without vetting the data in detail, I imagine most of the stats are B2C. However, I think the important idea is that the data is really only good for relaying general principles. The data is best used as a starting point for organizations, whether B2B or B2C, to learn more about themselves.

      1. Great thanks and that makes sense. I agree about the starting point. I run customer success for a B2B software, so I’m always interested and think at the core, a lot of these hold true no matter what/who you work with. Thanks!

  2. Hi Adam

    Very interesting graphic and some really useful links to related articles.
    I’m writing an MBA paper on “Customer Equity measurement of the Value of the Firm” and was wondering if you happen to have data on customer retention rates by industry. It’s one of the inputs I need for my model but very few companies publish it and estimation proves quite difficult.
    I have references for avg. of all U.S. companies at c. 80% retention rate, mobile phone operators at c. 90%, credit card companies at c. 85%-90%, online brokers at c. 95%, E-Tail at c. 75%.
    References for customer retention rates for banks, airlines, insurance and retail would be highly helpful and appreciated.
    Best regards,
    UCT GSB MBA Candidate

    1. Hi Henning,

      Thank you for your question. I’m glad you enjoyed the infographic.

      As you have probably discovered, universal industry data is not that readily available. Most of the companies that do this research do so at great expense, and charge dearly for access to it.

      As for web sources, this article might help with banking: Obviously though, going the web route, you will be dealing with different research methodologies and potentially different geographies.

      Best of luck with the paper! If you wish, you can us your conclusions when you are done.


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  7. Cyngus Technologies

    Impressive infographic regarding customer retention. I really agree that to gain new customers will cost more than to keep the existing ones. Business startups out there shall really focus on customer retention too.

    Keep up the good writing, by the way 😀

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