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Why Your Customers Stop Doing Business With You

Customer Leaving

I came across a very interesting study by McGraw Hill about why people stop being customers at a company.

Here are the reasons customers leave:

5% – Die/Move Away 4% – Have A Friendship/Relationship At Another Company 9% – Competition 14% – Dissatisfaction With Product/Service 68% – Indifference/Attitude Of The Current Company

How remarkable that the main reason they leave (by far) is because of the behaviour of the current company!

So you’ve got a number of reasons that are out of your control as a business – death, friendship with another company, a move to the competition – but these reasons only add up to 18% of lost customers.

Isn’t it also interesting that for many companies, the greatest fear is what the competition is doing yet this study clearly shows the other guys aren’t the danger to a large degree.

Imagine how much more profitable a company (yours?) would be if they managed to change their behaviour so the customer doesn’t feel ignored – and stayed a customer.

And making them feel important or valued isn’t even that difficult.

I would suggest that unless something has occurred that really angered a former customer, reactivating them isn’t too hard either. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of asking them to come back.

So when it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), here are some ways to make sure people are happy to continue doing business with you, and if you’ve lost them, how to get them back.

Keeping Them Happy:

1.) Don’t stop talking after the sale. Keep in touch. Check in, and follow-up to make sure they are satisfied with your product and service. Ask if there is anything you can do for them. This can be handled by telephone quite easily for small or mid-size companies. For larger companies I’d suggest an automated email sequence, if done properly, is a good method.

2.) Send them a bit of ‘swag’ from time to time. This is a good approach for customers of bigger ticket items. Isn’t it always nice to receive an unexpected gift – especially from an unexpected source? Yes, it is.

3.) Develop a good content marketing campaign to be sent via email. Provide customers with information they’ll find useful. Help them use your product correctly, teach them ways of maintaining it and making it last longer. In some areas, the people who buy are intensely interested in the product and want to know everything about it so you should give them what they are looking for.

4.) Make sure your customer service is impeccable. If something is wrong, fix it right away. I’m sure all of us have stories about being treated badly by customer service people and if you are anything like me, my resentment often influences my next purchase decision – in other words, I buy elsewhere.

Getting Them Back:

If you have a list of dormant customers you will want to reactivate them. A lot of times, they aren’t angry with you, they’ve just forgotten or need a nudge to come back into the fold.

Here’s a good technique:

Send a real-live, hand addressed and personally signed letter asking what happened, if you did anything wrong and if there’s anything you can do to get them back.

Then – follow-up with a phone call.

Does this seem simple? Unsophisticated?

Maybe – but it also happens to work.

That’s what I find so interesting about CRM, it isn’t complicated, it just takes effort. But many companies are more interested in finding the next customer than taking care of the ones they’ve already got.


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