Customers enter into a relationship with a company expecting a very positive, satisfying and long-tern relationship. When they’re not satisfied, however, the winds of change start blowing through their minds, and they send out warning signals most companies don’t even see or hear.
Here are the top 10 reasons companies lose customers and how you can keep from making them.
The Customer Doesn’t Feel Appreciated
The main reason companies lose customers is simply that their customers don’t feel appreciated. Most companies don’t really appreciate their customers and take the time to say ” thank-you”. So to keep from losing customers, thank them often, either by a phone call, in person, or through a customer appreciation program.
You’re Not Listening To Your Customer
Customers don’t talk just to hear the sound of their own voices. They have needs, or problems that reqluire immediate attention. Too many companies don’t listen to their customers until it’s too late. To prevent this from happening, reach out to your customers, ask them “how are we doing?”, and “is there anything we can do better?”. All it takes is a simple phone call or visit. Surveys and similar techniques are okay, but customers remember the “personal touch” and usually respond to it more readily.
You Over Promised and Under Delivered
Salespeople very often “over promise” to close a sale … or a customer “reads too much” into what a sales person says … or implies. Either way, the customer has certain expectations in mind and very often feels their expectations haven’t been met because the company or product didn’t deliver what was promised. To keep customers from falling into this “expectation gap” between what was promised and actually delivered, always under promise and over deliver. Then, conduct periodic “reality” checks just to make sure everything you deliver meets or exceeds expectations.
Your Customer Service Isn’t Up To Par
Customer service sometimes falls short … even in the best customer service operations. At the first indication of a customer service problem with a customer, apologize and rectify the problem immediately. Always make sure the customer is satisfied and is assured that there will never be a “repeat” service lapse again.
Your Product Isn’t Performing As Promised or Expected
The more technologically advanced the world gets, he more clients expect from the products they buy, That’s why it’s important to address all product performance and repair/service issues quickly and rectify everything to the customer’s satisfaction. If you don’t, customers will never buy your product again.
You’re Not Honest With The Customer
Customers aren’t stupid and they hate to be lied to. Lying only insults their intelligence. If you make a mistake, own up to it and tell the customer the truth … and offer some gesture of good will if you can. if you don’t, the customer will ultimately find the truth out anyway and turn to a competitor who will be honest with them.
You Repeat The Same Mistakes
Customers can forgive mistakes … like billing errors or delivery screw-ups … once or maybe even twice. But after that, they’ve had enough. If you make a mistake with a customer, learn from it and never make the same mistake again. Be sure to follow-up regularly to make sure you’re doing a great job!
Your Prices Are Too High
These days, every customer is price sensitive. Work with customers any way possible to help keep the price down. In cases where you have very little price flexibility, try offering a value-added benefit or benefits, so they perceive they are getting value for their money.
Your Competitor Caught You Napping
Many competitors very slyly and quietly court your customers, especially if you have former sales reps of yours working for them. Keep in close contact with your customers and watch your competitors closely.
The Customer Doesn’t Like the Sales Rep
Customers very often don’t like their sales represenvative. Sometimes it’s for a valid reason like the sales rep never returns calls promptly … messes up orders … or doesn’t listen to their needs and requests. It could also be that the sales person has bad breath, body odor, talks too loudly or doesn’t understand English very well. The reason could even more arbitrary … the client doesn’t like the way the sales person dresses … they’d rather do business with a member of the opposite sex … or there’s just a simple personality clash – the proverbial “oil and water don’t mix” scenario. When this problem arises, the only thing you can do is to give the customer a different sales and service contact. It’s either that or find yourself a new customer.
These 10 mistakes can all be attributed to not engaging your customers and getting their feedback, communicating with your customers openly, often and honestly and above all listening to their input and acting on it promptly.