Customer Experience News & Trends

4 reasons customers leave – and how to keep them with you

What’s worse than losing customers? Not knowing why they left. 

If only you knew there were problems earlier – or knew exactly when they stopped doing business with your company – you could probably reverse course. Right the wrong. Make them happy again. Build loyalty.

But customers walk away from businesses every day and no one notices until it’s too late: Customers found a better deal, superior business or just a new flavor of the month. It’s too late to bring them back.

That is, unless you understand the key reasons they leave and proactively get ahead of those.

Pay attention

Here are the four biggest reasons customers walk away, and what you can do to prevent it.

  1. Problems sour the relationship. Customers are generally happy when they first purchase and things go well. Then there’s a problem, and it’s resolved well enough. But another small problem arises and it isn’t resolved well or at all. Customers start to suspect more problems will occur and start looking elsewhere. Fix: You want to have regular, periodic reviews of customers’ activity to uncover patterns of problem or unresolved problems to address. Many CRM systems – can do this automatically.
  2. Follow-up is lackluster. Salespeople spend a lot of time getting new customers. Companies throw praise, gratitude and extra attention to new customers. Then, once orders go through and are delivered, no one pays attention to customers who felt doted on for a while. Fix: Relationships need nurturing. Create ways to stay in touch with customers, one week, one month and other regular intervals after their first order. Don’t just offer products. Give them valuable information, such as links to relevant research or access to user groups, which can also be automated through a CRM.
  3. Communication breaks down. Some companies and salespeople take a reactive stance once customers buy. They just wait for customers to contact them again with a question, concern or other purchase. You can’t – and won’t – stay top of mind without proactively communicating. Fix: Remember customers. Find out their preference for communication – email, social media, text, calls – and ask when they want to hear from you and what they want to hear. The key to communicating well is communicating the way and time customers want.
  4. Returning is too easy. Making it too easy for customers to walk away – and come back under better terms – encourages them to leave. We aren’t saying you should make it difficult for customers to leave with unforgiving contracts or penalties. Fix: Make it sticky enough that you know they’re leaving – some kind of notification they won’t need more help or another order. That way, you have a chance to make it right. Also avoid rewarding them for coming back with deeper discounts or new (or not-so-new) incentives.

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.