Customer Experience News & Trends

4 reasons customers fire you – and top ways to win them back

Customers don’t just leave. They fire you because you didn’t live up to their expectations. Watch for these signs they’re ready to walk.

You have a good chance of winning customers back before they quit or fire you if you see it coming.

Here are the top four reasons customers leave — and what customer-facing employees can do to retain them:

1. No one cared

Customers can tell if their questions or issues bore or irritate the person they’re talking to. It comes through over the phone in a detached, distracted voice. It comes through online with short responses and quick references to links or other sites for problem solving.

To avoid this: Play this game with each customer — pick out at least one word in the customers’ question or description of their problem that makes it unique from all the other previous similar requests you’ve heard. Then use that word in your answer.

2. Exaggerating

No one sets out to over promise and under deliver. On the contrary, the objective is to under promise and over deliver. But while exaggerations — like “I’ll get that processed today” — seem harmless, they’re not.

To avoid this: Say it’ll take longer, cost more, be more involved, etc. then you know it will.

3. Things take too long

Any waiting seems longer than it really is for customers. They will always feel slighted when they sit on the phone anticipating a resolution.

To avoid this: Jump on the line every 60 seconds if they’re waiting on the phone to update them. Check in each day if they’re waiting on a resolution that takes longer.

4. Badmouthing

Most customer-facing employees know not to badmouth fellow employees, competitors or customers. But they might unknowingly do it by using definitive words such as “always” and “never” when referring to others. For instance, “Accounting always takes three days” sounds like your suggesting that’s too long.

To avoid this: Compliment colleagues, competition and customers often.

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