Customer Focus: Acquisition vs Retention

Attempting to log into Hulu reveals a customer focus on sales, not on maintaining relationships with active, paying customers.

What is your customer focus: to gain new customers or to retain and reward those who’ve stuck with you? It’s evidenced in how you interact, from first encounters to ongoing engagement. And it frames the success of your business over time.

Today, while gearing up to watch the 2023 College Football Championship game, I loaded up Hulu and was met with the following screen:

Hulu login screen, prioritizing new sales over existing customers.
Hulu login screen, prioritizing new sales over existing customers.

I haven’t used cable in years, to Hulu is the only way I can stream live sports … and finding the tiny “login” link in the corner took some effort. It’s almost like long-time paying customers (and their primary workflow of logging into the site) are less important to the folks who run Hulu these days.

Everyone who’s ever used cable is used to the bait-and-switch sales techniques of the major players. Sign up today for a low introductory price only to watch it double (or triple or more!) a few months later once the promotion has expired. Are there discounts for loyal customers? Nope. The only way to get your price back down is to switch to a competitor also offering a promotional discount.

Before I cut the cord, I played this game regularly every three to six months. It led to a lot of needlessly shipping hardware back and forth and far too much time on the phone with customer support. And for what: a few extra dollars each month and my never speaking highly of your service to others?

In a truly competitive market, how you treat and reward your most loyal customers is a key underpining of your brand reputation. It wins you net promoters, free buzz marketing, and a solid baseline of annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Various markets are growing, maturing, and slipping from competitive incubators of innovation into commodity plays. Rather than race to the bottom, focus on what makes your brand great: your customers. How you treat and build trust with those who’ve already come on board speaks volumes to those still shopping around for a safe place to land.

One Comment January 8, 2024

@ericmann Late stage Capitalism. They want to take every single pennie out of our pocket. But its to a point that there is no money left for us to spend. I am tired of this subscriptions.