Considering it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, it's safe to say customer retention should be a top priority for any business. The first step in creating a strong retention strategy is to identify why customers are leaving. It's easy to speculate. Probably because they were dissatisfied with your product offering, right? Not necessarily.
In fact, studies have found that while 14% of customers leave because of product dissatisfaction, a whopping 68% leave because of poor customer service.
Studies show 14% of customers leave because of product dissatisfaction, while 68% leave because of poor customer service.
The customer service you provide your customers is a defining component of your business's success and one of the biggest opportunities your brand has to set itself apart from the competition.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest customer service transgressions and what you can do to avoid them.
You don’t care.
Or, at least, your customers think you don’t care.
If a customer was nurtured throughout the sales process and then left to sink or swim on their own once the purchase was finalized they can be left feeling like the service they received during the sale wasn’t genuine.
Having a solid follow-up system in place after a sale is finalized to ensure the customer is getting the most out of your product can help to identify and eliminate any pain points early in the process.
When customer issues do arise, show genuine compassion and care in fixing the concern. Perceived inauthenticity can also leave customers running for the exit.
You don’t learn from your mistakes.
You fix customer issues when they arise, you’re attentive, and you provide fast solutions. Great start! But what happens if the customer has an issue again? And again and again? Customers understand that problems happen, no company or product is flawless, but few will have patience for repeat offenses.
Fix the problem, deliver strong customer service — and then don’t let it happen again. What's that saying? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice:
Something like that.
You follow a script.
We’ve all been on a call where we can hear the script being read. It’s a frustrating experience because it feels like it takes longer to get to the heart of the issue and begin the resolution process. It can feel like you’re talking to a brick wall instead of having a real conversation with another person.
Customers want to be heard — listen.
Each customer is unique, treating them all the same by following a step-by-step process each time isn’t the strongest strategy for success. Value your customers’ time and ditch the script.
You don’t have a dedicated customer service team or multi-channel support.
If a customer had to dig around on your website for 10 minutes just to find the customer service number before calling you, the experience has already started off on the wrong foot.
Make it easy for them to find you. Be where your customer is, let them get support via their preferred method of communication. Some customers will need to talk to you on the phone to feel heard, some people are busy or work odd hours and need the option of email or chat support.
All in all, the key to good customer service is earning the trust of your customers through consistent and transparent communication and service. If you deliver on your promises and genuinely care about the people using your product, you’ll do just fine!