Fine, M. & P. Clark (2016)
Southern Business Economic Journal

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Loss of businesses to surrounding areas has escalated in the past decade, promoting an examination of factors causing business defection from the city of Georgetown, South Carolina. Kotler (1969) warned that customer retention is more important than identifying new prospects. If the customer’s satisfaction levels fall below completely satisfied, there is a risk of customer defection. This issue is important because the “purpose of a business is to create and keep customers” (Kotler 1969, p. 2). Therefore, understanding what dissatisfies a customer is just as important as understanding what satisfies a customer. The degree to which cities are vulnerable to customer defection is impacted by a number of factors such crime, history, infrastructure (including construction), city rules and regulations, festivals and events, friendliness of doing business, and support from the city/county. Our results suggest that friendliness impacts merchants’ likeliness to continue doing business in Georgetown.


Marketing, Economic Development, Small Business, Business Retention.