Today the Small Business Owner blog is joined by Nina Sunday. Nina is Managing Director of Brainpower Training, a people development company with a range of programs in communication, emotional intelligence, knowledge capture, productivity and leadership. Today Nina shares her insights into analysing the reasons why clients stop using a business. Welcome Nina! Naomi
There are useful lessons to be learned by analysing the reasons clients stop using any business.
A well-known research study * identified five typical reasons customers leave, and here they are:
1. Move away
2. Develop other friendships
4. Dissatisfaction with the product or service
5. An attitude of indifference toward the customer by the owner, manager, or some employee
Why not conduct a guessing exercise with your co-workers?
Can they guess which of these 5 reasons was cited more often?
Ask each person to assign a percentage out of 100 next to each reason listed. (And when they tally, their total for all 5 reasons should add up to 100%.)
Did they think price was the most important?
Many people assume most people shop on price, but research shows only 9% of customers are price shoppers.
Price shoppers are not loyal. They switch from supplier to supplier and won’t necessarily stay just because you provide good service.
What about dissatisfaction? Did they consider that might be the main reason to stop using a firm? Not according to the research. Only 14% leave because they are dissatisfied with the product or service.
5% develop new relationships, 3% move away, 1% die. That leaves 68%.
The main reason clients stop using a business is indifference by the owner, manager or staff members.
What behaviour is perceived as indifferent?
Lack of eye contact, lack of friendliness, doing one’s job in a neutral, humdrum way is perceived as being indifferent.
Last time I flew with Qantas airline, during the usual announcement, ‘Qantas flight 508 to Brisbane is now boarding through Gate 8′, they added, ‘On behalf of Qantas, we hope you enjoy a pleasant flight.’
That’s an extra statement that’s positive and friendly. It’s something a little extra that comes across as ‘they care’.
If your eyes stay glued to the computer screen, fingers keep tapping the keyboard while responding to someone speaking to you face to face, it sends a message they are an interruption.
Lack of urgency when a client is anxious about a missing or late item is also interpreted as indifference.
The ‘moment of truth’ principle in customer service highlights that with every interaction your client is deciding whether to do business with you or to continue to do business with you.
Observe for yourself. Are all customer touchpoints in your organisation positive and friendly?
1. Notice next time you go through the checkout at the supermarket. Did the operator make eye contact and smile? Are they personable?
2. When you answer the phone do you sound welcoming and ready to assist?
3. If you can’t say yes to a customer request, can you be creative and come up with a suggestion along the lines of ‘but what I can do is…?’
4. Find reasons to stay in touch with regular clients; demonstrate you value this relationship. Create an SIT (Stay In Touch) list.
* Work cited: This research study was highlighted in Michael LeBoeuf’s 1989 book, ‘How to Win Customers and Keep Them For Life.’ Revised edition: Berkley Trade (2000).