We are nearing the end of Q4 2016 and while reviewing reports for the quarter and entire year, you realize you lost a significant percentage of your clients. Where did things go wrong? Clients or customers are essential to every business and leave for a variety reasons, but it usually has something to do with the customer experience. Did you know it costs less to retain clients than to acquire new ones? Let’s take a look at some of the more common reasons why you lost clients:
Loss of Trust in Your Services or Products
Why your clients are leaving: Customers are tired of substandard products. They are tired of all your empty promises. Clients are tired of you cancelling meetings at the very last minute. You have to remember, if your client meets with you at your office, it is time away from their job, time sitting in traffic and then time with you.
Isn't their time worth something, too?
What you can change to improve customer retention: Take better care of your clients. Without clients, there is no revenue.
Tired of Empty Promises
Why your clients are leaving: You claimed to include specific services within a package, yet you failed to deliver on time. Your client reminded you every day after they read the status reports. These issues are important if not critical to the client, but not important enough to you as the service provider. Carelessly adding to the report (only after requested) does not make the cut.
What you can change to improve customer retention: Focus. Stay organized and allow enough time for each client to complete the job.
Inability to Communicate and Respond Effectively
Why your clients are leaving: Okay, so you took a call from a client who was overcharged, but that was over two months ago. The client calls for a status on the refund a few times a week, but you have no response for them. As you can imagine, the customer experience here is not pleasant.
What you can change to improve customer retention: Get yourself organized and follow through. If it helps, make a list or create a spreadsheet. The best thing to do is handle issues as they happen.
Calls Are Going to Voicemail
Why your clients are leaving: Your clients or even potential clients are taking time out of their busy schedules to call you for your services, but instead of a live person answering calls to your company during normal business hours, they go to voicemail.
What you can change to improve customer retention: Hire a receptionist or better yet, save some money and use a virtual receptionist.
Why your clients are leaving: There are times when unhappy customers resort to using social media to get your attention. When companies delete or ignore those comments, it’s bad for business.
What you can change to improve customer retention: Stop being in denial. Not everything in life is perfect and when a customer has a problem, it should be addressed. While that one customer may not make you rich in a day, their online reviews and comments can kill your business.
If you're not meeting your clients expectations, they will happily start looking for an alternative. The solution is not to stick them with an iron-clad contrac that they have no way of getting out of, but rather expressing your empathy and then actually doing something to make the situation better.
Even in business, it is oft important to give a little to get a lot. Always keep at the forefront of your mind that your customers are how you stay in business successfully for years to come.