Customer Experience News & Trends

A nation of Serial Switchers: 6 top reasons customers leave

4. ‘No one knew what I was talking about’

147351025About 30% of customers walk away from companies after dealing with the staff’s lack of knowledge. This is another issue that spreads across the organizational chart.

Customers get annoyed when they call Customer Service and reps don’t know about a promotion (that Marketing probably released). They’re frustrated with technicians who don’t have the tools or off-hand knowledge to fix their tech glitches immediately. Customers get angry when their invoices are incorrect, their orders are missing parts and their questions are unanswered.

These are mostly communication issues within organizations. Failures to communicate across from the top-down and across departments leave staffers under-equipped to answer customer questions, handle issues and respond quickly.

It’s an issue that World Travel Holdings in Wilmington, MA, has taken to heart, using several tools to keep information flowing. According to Debbie Fiorino, Senior VP of Human Resources, they use the company’s intranet system to announce and exchange valuable information. Top executives post information on the internal site about company goals and the plan to achieve them each quarter. Then they bolster the online information with podcasts.

Also on the intranet is “The Exchange,” which allows employees to post questions or concerns they have about their jobs, a particular situation or challenge they face. From there colleagues can to chime in to offer advice.

5. ‘I had to wait too long’

131724639Yes, customers want courtesy first. But never think they don’t value speedy responses. About a quarter of customers will leave because they’re tired of long wait times — whether it’s on a phone, in line or for a follow-up.

As a general guide, this is customers’ tolerance levels, according to the NewVoiceMedia research:

  •  22% are prepared to wait less than 5 minutes, and
  • 53% are prepared to wait 5 to 10 minutes

It will never hurt to take steps to decrease response time. But the most important thing you can do to avoid frustrating customers with wait times is to set — and meet — the expectation.

Example: Post wait and response times and put a system in place to monitor that those times are met.

6. ‘I have nothing good to say’

158744277Customers walk away because they don’t have a story to tell. Nothing about the company, its people or the customer service was memorable. About 70% of customers say they’d be more loyal to companies — and recommend them to friends, family and colleagues — if they had a great experience, the NewVoiceMedia researchers found.

Even better, 42% would spend more money on their next purchase.

Even if companies don’t fail on the other five fronts mentioned above, they may still lose customers because they didn’t give people a compelling reason to come back.

They failed to “wow” customers.

There’s no shortage of online stories about customer service professionals who send, flowers, coupons or even pizza to customers who mention they’re upset — or hungry — during an otherwise business-related call. You may have even heard about service heroes who stayed on the line in emergency situations to help customers.

While they’re all “wow” experiences that live on in good stories, they have one important thing in common: The employees were trained and empowered to do things that were outside of the ordinary to make a difference in customers’ lives.

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