Tim Peniston-Bird: How To Improve Customer Retention?

March 15, 2022
Are you struggling to acquire and retain customers for your business? In today’s episode, Tim Peniston-Bird, Customer Acquisition and Retention Specialist and Managing Director at Orangutan, shares his tips for building customer retention programs that really work.

Many businesses make the mistake of seeing relationships with their customers as purely transactional. They think they can retain customers simply by having a good product, but it’s really about building trust and cultivating relationships. By focusing on what behaviors you’d like to see in your customers and speaking with them about how you can improve their experiences, you can build a customer loyalty program that is mutually beneficial.

Tune into this week’s episode of Powerful Marketing Tips for a conversation about building a connection with your customers. Build customer loyalty by encouraging the behaviors you want to see.


  • “One of the big problems that a lot of businesses have shifted to is they’ve kind of been run by counsels where they see customers as a commodity and they want to make it cheaper and cheaper and cheaper for them, so you end up with less service. The problem is that actually people buy a service. They buy trust and they buy relationships. There is no point going to your local pub and spending 5 to 8 times more for a drink there if you’re gonna get a bad experience, a less enjoyable drink, and ignored by the bar staff. You can buy online much more easily. But what you really want to do is to go to a local business where you trust the opinion of the person who is helping you.” (3:50-4:40)
  • “Ideally, you would allow 6 to 8 weeks to build a customer retention program, so up to two months because you want to spend a little time actually speaking to customers, speaking to staff. Sort of work out how you can make things better. Trying to work out what behaviors you want to change and how you want them to be different going forwards. It’s actually making sure that all of your teams are fully behind the program. You train them so they are building it into all of the conversations and they are committed to giving key moments of truth.” (15:50-16:50)
  • “Everyone thinks of a customer loyalty program as giving points. What you often do is end up falling into the trap of rewarding them for the purchase they were going to make anyway and not driving any new behaviors. That might be good in a way, but it doesn’t increase customer satisfaction. It just gives away some of your margin.” (23:53-24:39)
  • “Define your goal. Look at what it is you want to achieve…Secondly, look at what I call the hygiene effect. What do you do that annoys people and what do you do that actually makes the experience better?…Think, if I were a customer, how would I want to be treated? As much as possible you and your team should show your passion for them….Actually show you care. And genuinely care.” (26:00-27:18)
  • “I’m a big fan of trying to make everything as experiential as possible.” (27:44-27:48)
  • “Don’t think of transactions. Try and think of behaviors. What do you want to happen more often with a customer? Do you want them to be spending more on each visit? Do you want them to be coming back more often? Do you want them to be staying with you longer? Look at what behaviors you need from them and therefore, how you’re going to start building those habits and encouraging those behaviors through recognition, reward, etc. If you want them in more often, give them excuses to come back because there will be something unique that they can’t get on any other day. Create some degree of urgency and find positive ways to keep in touch. We’re all dreadful at ignoring our customers. We all think they don’t want to hear from us. But actually, they do.” (28:42-29:42)
  • “As much as possible put yourself in their shoes and think ‘What would I want powerful marketers to do for me?’.” (30:01-30:10)
  • “Once a great idea is in place, the only limit is your imagination.” (34:55-34:58)


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