8 Reasons Why We Lose Customers

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.

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

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Are Your Customers Re-signing or Resigning?

Any customer who buys from you should have the opportunity to purchase your product or service again.

In the real world, this doesn’t always happen. here are some reasons why customers may not carry out repeat business with you and become your loyal customer:

1. Showing no genuine or personal interest. This is the biggest reason why customers leave…apathy by the service provider. You may think you are looking after them, but are you? Really?

2. Poor or slow response to enquiries. Slow service means you simply don’t care. Even if you’re the best quality, people will leave for quicker responses.

3. Product or service unavailability. If they can’t get what they want, when they want it, they’ll go somewhere else.

4. Difficult ordering systems. By making the ordering system hard to decipher, or creating obstacles to the purchase procedure, you are saying you are more important than the customer. Make it easy to do business with you.

5. Impersonal service. Invest in training and coaching your front line people. They create the first, and last, impression of your company.

6. Too many problems in dealing with you. Customers will forgive once. They’ll be annoyed with twice. Three times? Forget it.

7. Too much pressure to buy more. People do not want to be sold to; they want to buy. Become an adviser to them and they are more likely to listen to you. Pressure them and they are more likely to walk away.

8. Poor quality. You think your customer is always looking for cheap? How long will they put up with the lousy quality just to save a few pence?

9. Poor delivery of product or service. We used a company for office products once. Yes…just once. The attitude of the delivery people was awful. We now equate that company with the same attitude as the delivery and set-up people. Never again.

10. Being made to feel unimportant. Just like no.1, if I feel you don’t care about me, I will leave. All customers should feel that doing business with you is a pleasure. Is it with your company.

Your attitude and services will dictate whether you will get repeat business or not. They will either re-sign with you or resign from you. The choice is up to you.

Happy selling!


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

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Six Main Reasons Why You’ll Lose a Customer

Howard Feiertag is a leading writer in the hospitality industry. He wrote that there are six main reasons why a company will lose a customer and why that customer will never return.

The six reasons he lists are death, the fact that they move away, they buy from a friend, they prefer a competitor, they are dissatisfied with the product, or they experienced an attitude of indifference from the supplying company.

Now these reasons will naturally affect you and your customers, too, but which reason do you think is the main reason for the defections? And what percentage applies to all these reasons.

Feiertag’s research shows that, in the hospitality industry, one of these reasons stands out by far. And I would guess that these figures pretty much apply to most industries. Let’s take a look:

Death – Sadly, some of our clients will meet the reaper sooner than we would like, but they only make up 1% of the total defectors.

Move Away – Our clients may move their businesses, or the main buyer may leave the company and the new buyer may not use you. According to research, this accounts for about 3% of clients

Buy from a Friend – Some other clients may actually buy from a company because they know the supplier personally. You might be a friend, too, but 4% will still leave you for this reason

Prefer a competitor – Your competition may come up with a special offer to lure your client away. If you haven’t built up a close relationship with them, the last you may hear from them is their answerphone, as they don’t pick up the phone to your calls any more. This accounts for 9% of the defectors

Product dissatisfaction – We can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes our products are simply not good enough, or something happens that causes them to be dissatisfied with our offerings. Another 14% leave because of this.

That leaves one last reason. And you’ll probably notice that the previous reasons, in the majority of cases, are outside of our control. However, this main reason is certainly within our control, and it’s the attitude we show to the client. A whopping 68% of clients, according to Feiertag, leave because of apathy by the supplier.

O, brother, that’s more than 2 out of 3 of your lost customers!

What can you do to ensure you don’t suffer from this experience?

Ensure you know the level of service your customer expects. Some customers want you call every other day. Some want only new updates. Others want a visit every three months. Find out what your clients’ expectations are in this area of contacts. Then match them.

Be the first port of call when your client has a problem. You might not be involved in shipping, but you want to know when your customer’s delivery hasn’t arrived. It saves you having a big shock on your next visit.

Use personal follow-ups, thank you notes, phone calls or other ways to make sure your customer knows you appreciate their business. These personal touches can mean a lot. Find out the buyer’s birthday and send them a personal card, not an email. It will make an impression.

Remember: Your clients want and need reasons to keep the partnership going. Don’t neglect them while seeking out new clients.

Your attitude is contagious…is yours worth catching?

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy selling


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

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