Lessons in Loss

I’ve been thinking a lot about why people leave lately, whether we’re talking about leaving a relationship, no longer using a product or brand, not watching a TV show, moving, or leaving a job.  People stop doing things, stop buying things or leave for many reasons.  Sometimes they’re real reasons like something has changed in another aspect of their life like their health or goals, other times it’s not really anything in particular that encourages the change.  Today I want to highlight 4 reasons you may lose customers, as inspired by an article from Thom Rainer.

1-innacuracies

We’re not perfect and sometimes we do make mistakes, mistakes that are usually caught and sometimes become big issues.  Sometimes we fudge things a little to make extra money or win extra customers, other times the inaccuracy is made unintentionally.  Do your best to check for obvious mistakes, and have someone else check things over too (and don’t do too much fudging).

2-no support

Customers can be challenging, and it can be easy to blame them fully for the failure (especially when it is their fault!).  But, if your customers don’t feel valued, or don’t feel like you’re supporting them in getting the most out of your product/service, it’s very easy to lose them.  This is a relatively easy one to fix.  Make sure to include detailed and complete instructions with the product or service.  Make sure it’s clear what is and isn’t included.  Make sure to let them know how they can get help or resolve issues.  Train your customer service people to actually help customers.  Listen for feedback and make improvements.

3-something changed

In part this is something you can influence, but to a large part it’s not.  You can’t force someone to need or like a product or service, they either do or don’t.  If it’s a money thing and you’ve recently skyrocketed prices like we’ve heard about some medicines, strongly reconsider unless you’re OK only being able to sell to a few people.  You may be the only company that offers that product or service, but that’s no reason to price it as though you’re expecting someone’s first born child as payment.  Don’t penalize people for the changes that happen in their lives, figure out if there’s a way you can support them in that change.

4-you forget what you’re really doing
Finally, something I mention frequently: your customers are human and it’s your utmost job to help them.  When you see them as only a dollar sign or drop in your bucket you’re missing out on tons of ways to better connect with them, better support them and keep them as customers.  Remember that they’re thinking about family, money, health, work, friends and thousands of other things that make them the people who they are, not just about products or services you offer.  They don’t exist only to be your bank account filler, so don’t treat them as such.

This week I encourage you to consider if you have made or need to make changes to keep your customers more engaged and in turn make your business more successful.

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