Why You Lose 82% of Your Customers

Did you know that you can increase your chances of saving angry customers by 82% simply by showing more gratitude and solving their problems immediately? (According to Bell & Zemke in their excellent book, “Managing Your Socks Off Service”)

All businesses lose customers. It happens. The key is to learn why they left, and ensure it doesn’t happen for the same reason twice.

So, here are two statistics to consider:

68% of customers say they left because you didn’t appreciate them.

14% of customers say they quit giving you business because you didn’t solve their problems to their satisfaction

Those are big numbers. But, the good news is that both those issues can be fixed in a way that strengthens your business and makes you more money.

Let’s start with the big one.

68% of people stopped coming to you because you didn’t appreciate them.

That stat never ceases to blow my mind. That’s so much money businesses lose just because they don’t show their customers some love!

I know that you must appreciate your customers. After all, you’re nothing without them. So let them know it.

It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. It can be something as simple as making eye contact and adding a sincere, “Thank you so much for coming in!” Or, “It’s been a pleasure to help you”. Maybe, “I’m really grateful for your business”. You really can’t do it wrong if it’s sincere.

Say whatever feels natural to you. There is no wrong way to thank a customer, as long as you’re sincere and enthusiastic and out there doing it. Don’t be an owner or manager who just holes up in the back office all day, never taking the time to walk the floor, answer phones, or make sure that things are getting done and people are leaving happy.

Some principles of relationship building are universal, like not taking someone for granted. That is one of the easiest ways to end a great romantic relationship, lose your job, or never see a customer again. So don’t do it.

Take the time every day to see and talk to your customers. Customers will love it, plus your employees will see your example and start doing the same things themselves.

Remember, you can keep 68% of customers you’d otherwise lose if you just tell them how much you appreciate them keeping you in business. That is an awesome deal.

Get out there and say thank you!

Now, what about those other customers who do feel appreciated, but leave anyway?

14% of customers leave because you didn’t solve their problem to their satisfaction.

“14%” is a big percentage of your customers. We would all love to increase business by 14%. But that’s not the most important part of that sentence. Did you catch it?

To their satisfaction” is the key part of that statistic.

That’s the heart of why customers leave. You need to make sure that when you are dealing with the customer’s issue; that you’re listening to them and making the utmost effort to address their specific problem.

You may think you’ve solved their problem. The customer may even say that you did, and leave the store seemingly satisfied. But, they’re not coming back.

I’ve said it before, but it’s so important that it bears repeating. You need to have rules and procedures in place that give employees the leeway they need to solve problems to the customer’s satisfaction. You must trust that your workers can get the job done, and allow them some freedom to use their own judgment in going above and beyond the day-to-day means of solving customer problems. Let them give something away for free, break a rule “just this time”, or whatever within certain parameters that works to solve the customer’s problem.

You must constantly review your work rules, regulations, and procedures for common points of friction that might crop up between you and your employees, employees and customers, and customers and your business.

The key is to work as hard as possible to prevent problems, but once they happen, you must take the time to solve them in a way that leaves the customer feeling good about your brand. custom logo dress socks

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