Posted by Jessica Render on Feb 13, 2016
Jessica Render

It costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. With this in mind, it’s safe to say customer retention should be a top priority for any business. The first step is identifying why customers leave in the first place. It’s easy to speculate. Probably because they were dissatisfied with a product or service, right?

Not so.

In fact, studies have found that while 14% of customers leave because of product dissatisfaction, a whopping 68% leave because of poor customer service.

Why your customers are leaving

With so much at stake, the service you offer your customers is a clear, defining element of your business and one of the biggest opportunities a brand has to set themselves apart from their 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 and service can help 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 in 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, you care and you provide fast solutions. That’s a good 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.

So fix the problem, deliver strong customer service — and then don’t let it happen again.

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 going and it can feel like you’re talking to a brick wall instead of having a conversation.

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 or service, you’ll be doing just fine!