Customer Experience News & Trends

4 customers who are about to leave – and you don’t know it

Some customers kick and scream their way out the door. But quiet defectors are a bigger risk to your business.

“There are early signs you’ll lose a customer, but some don’t show any,” said customer service and sales trainer Debra Schmidt, president of The Loyalty Leader, who recently spoke at a Progressive Business Conference.

“They’re dangerous. They leave without doing anything.”

Their reasons vary. But it’s likely most of them leave for the same reason loud defectors leave: Almost 70% say it’s because of an attitude of indifference from an employee. In other words, they felt like the company didn’t care.

Who leaves?

Here are four quiet defectors and why they respond to poor experiences the way they do:

  • Collectors are busy and don’t want to waste time complaining. They think finding another provider is a better use of their time.
  • Dashers are uncomfortable with conflict and would rather just find the next best, easiest thing.
  • Guessers assume you knew of their troubles and didn’t care to fix them, so they don’t bother to say more.
  • Satisfied customers are neutral. They say “fine” often, making them the easiest to spot, but still difficult to win if you don’t make attempts.

 2 proven win-back strategies

The good news: You can win back customers who’ve quietly left. The first key, of course, is to know when they decide to go. Pull data at least every six months (or more frequently if your sales cycle is short) to find inactive accounts. Then reach out to them.

These two ideas from David Chaulk, COO, Brand Developers Limited, and his New Zealand-based sales and service team can help.

To recapture customers who wanted to cancel services, they required customers who wanted to cancel services to call to do it. Then they created the “cancellation team,” who took the calls to terminate contract and services.

The team members spent a little more time with those customers, trying to uncover if they were disappointed and if there were different ways to meet their needs. They never pressured customers who said they couldn’t afford it or customers who had purchased a product or service that wasn’t appropriate for them. Still, the team managed to save 36% of those accounts.

They also created the “resuscitation team.” Reps pulled together numbers and information on potential customers who’d called but didn’t buy anything. The resuscitation reached out to those customers to break the ice — and it’s helped them build the customer base.

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