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How many customers have you lost in the past year or two? Are you certain of that number? How many have simply stopped buying from you, but you don’t know it?
Remember; people don’t stop buying, they just stop buying from you.
Why do we lose customers? Well there are many reasons, some of which are below. But the interesting fact is that most salespeople know why they lose customers…they just don’t do anything about it.
Customers will walk away from you without telling you, unless you have built up a really good relationship with you, in which case they might tell you why they are going to use your biggest competitor.
Here’s why many customers leave:
1. You show no genuine care or personal attention. It’s the main reason we all leave a supplier…we just don’t matter to them. If you don’t care, they will go somewhere that will care. People will even sacrifice quality for speed.
2. You’re hard to do business with. Long waits on the phone, difficult to get hold of the right people, a thousand buttons to press before you get hold of a human being…all these things and more tell the client that our processes and procedures are more important than you ever will be.
3. Unfriendly people. I’m staggered by how many unfriendly people there are on the front line of service providers. We all have a bad day, but don’t take it out on the next customer. It’s not their fault. If you don’t want to serve people, leave and let someone else do it who has manners.
4. You blame the process or system for poor service. Apologising for the delay only scratches the service. If you can’t be bothered to invest in updating your systems, don’t expect me to put up with delays and problems. I’ll go somewhere who puts customers first, thank you.
5. Poor professional image. Everything your marketing and advertising says reflects on your professionalism. There’s a shop in our town I drive past on the way to work. It’s totally and utterly filthy outside all the time. I’ve never been in there. Wonder why?
6. Making up excuses about why you cant do things. If you’re not set up to help customers, why are you in business? Customers want help with their problems, and they don’t want excuses as to why things can’t be done. They want solution-finders, please.
7. Poor staff training. The wife of one of our consultants works in retail. She has been in her current job for six months. She has had five minutes of training. Everything else she has learned on the job, by default. The quality of the service offered at that establishment. You can guess!
8. Cutting the price of everything, along with quality. By slashing prices, you are telling customers that quality and service will not be invested in. Many people will go for the cheapest and nothing else, but you’ll lose the majority who have a little more dignity than that.
I wish I had a pound for every time I have heard that customers are to blame for businesses losing profits. Customers will go where they see they are cared for and appreciated. If things aren’t as good as they could be for your business, stop blaming customers and look at your own systems first. Only when they are in-synch with customer demand will you see improvements.
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