Retention is vital to business growth. And retaining a customer can refer to the season ticket holder for the pro basketball team, the resident for the cable television company, the local employer for the community, and…the community college student in Yakima, Washington.
In the Yakima Herald Article, Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) was recognized by a national non-profit organization for its great student retention rates. The semester-to-semester retention rate increased from 75% to 81%. According to Tomas Ybarra, vice president of Instruction and Student Services, "Our new student orientation is definitely bearing fruit right now. In addition to fall-to-winter retention, also seeing increases in fall-to-fall retention (a full academic year). That’s encouraging."
So once again, we’re seeing an example of organizations successful in retention focusing hard on the new customer. In most businesses, retention is most at-risk for new or first year customers. To address this, YVCC delivers an orientation course that makes students more comfortable and confident in navigating the facility and processes and enjoying the experience. The orientation helps to create the ability for a new student to have as positive an experience as a long-term student.
So what’s your retention rate? Do you know it? If not, calculate it; if it’s 80% as an example, calculate the financial impact of not having the business from that lost 20% for the next year or two or three. That will make retention much more important from a financial perspective.
So how do you quickly try to create comfort and confidence in your first time customers? View them differently from your repeat customers. Create a plan to get the first timers knowledgeable of and pleased with the experience as quickly as possible.
Learn why Yakima says “Yes” to retention, and how it makes success from the Yes.
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