Losing Customers Despite Best Efforts?

Sure customers are tough and sure you have and are doing everything to keep them. You are content in the thought that your customers are happy, when suddenly a customer leaves. You have no idea what you did wrong since they did not give you a reason before leaving. In quick succession and as abruptly, you lose a couple more. What’s going on? It dawns on you that none of the current customers have endorsed your company or been forthcoming with positive or negative feedback and it has been near impossible to convince a probable customer to use the product or service offered. As a company, you are not a newbie and so it is baffling when these portentous signals start coming your way that threaten to ruin the company’s reputation and cost a lifetime of hard-work and money. Why are you Losing Customers Despite Best Efforts? The reasons mentioned below are indicative but should point you in the right direction to dig deep and get to the root of your problem:

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[img src=”https://corp.yonyx.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/120px-Stick_figure_-_choosing.jpg” width=”200″ height=”150″ align=”right”] • The market scenario is volatile, changing from day to day. This means that as a company you should have been pro-actively looking at the business and the customer relationship from every angle. Are your rates competitive for the current scenario? This doesn’t mean that you are over-charging. It could mean that you are under-charging which gives your customers the impression that you are probably cutting corners and the product or service will not stand the test of time. Notice changes in customer behavior – are they treating you right or demanding way over what they started out with, unreasonably so which has left you scrambling around most of the time trying to please the one or two customers. If it is time to raise the price for the product or service, do it. This could prove to be one of the ways to stop losing customers.

• As a company it is your job to charge the most optimum price for your product or service. The customer can only see the perceived most economically value for them but really does not care about how much goes in to making the offering work well and the time it took to create it. Figure out a balance and then quote a rate that aptly represents the high standard of your offering. Make a promise of superior customer service and then deliver. This way your customer will know that you have as much conviction in your product or service as you expect them to perceive. Also ensure that everyone involved in the negotiation process within the company knows and understands the lowest acceptable rate. This is the amount of payment below which you will most certainly not enter in to business. Don’t be tempted to or be steam rolled in to accepting this amount. It is for profit and growth that you are running a business.

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• It is the customer’s job and perceived right to make demands on your customer service which even they probably know are not reasonable. Evaluate these demands and understand the reason for them. Approaching this pragmatically and reasonably and take a stand. It is within your rights to say No. The inability to push back a bit and accept every demand of the customer, spells bad business sense. It conveys to your customer that you are very needy and not convinced of the efficacy of the product or service you are offering. He or she will most likely head to the office of your closest competitor and strike the deal. Saying no does not make you appear rigid it just speaks of conviction and confidence. The customer may not agree but this means that you can focus your energy in retaining your current ones and work towards attracting more profitable business. You are better off without a business that will make you labor just as much without the justifying profits.

• The customer has come to you only after doing his or her share of the ground-work. They have researched each aspect of your company, your reputation, the customer service provided and the offering you have. As a company have you done your homework? Make a thorough check in to the antecedents of a potential customer – the way they interact with the company they do business with, whether they make payments in time and in full – are some of background checks you should have in place before signing an agreement.

• One of the reasons for disappearing customers is probably because your reputation, of being unable to handle irate customers, precedes you. The bad customer experiences have spread rapidly and when a customer feels that he or she is approaching the stage of an unpleasant interaction just leaves. They don’t want the frustration or the hassle of dealing with the incompetence of your customer service team in resolving the issue. They would rather strike a new deal with your competition that has been known to provide better service than yours.

• Base your customer service on the premise that the customer is always right and must come first. Doing so does not mean that you will take a stand but base and focus the discussions focused on what the customer wants. Strike a balance to create a win-win deal.

• A customer may have stopped using your product or service a while back for reasons that were not negative. It is part of great customer service to keep in touch with such customers too. You never know which communication from your company strikes the right chord and brings this customer back to doing business with you. Integrate the email communications with social media to have a greater reach and more impactful messages. Use interactive videos to inform all your customers about the latest addition to the offerings from your company.

• Customer service is about being available for your customers. However, setting ground rules, expressing boundaries and limitations will get the customer to appreciate you more. When they know how much is too much, the transparency of the business interaction will create more trust and a level of comfort. Remember though, to keep a buffer for emergencies and any unforeseen changes. Your commitment to serve your customer will be heard loud and clear.

• Ensure that every experience and interaction your customer has with the company is memorable and one that will keep them happy. Even if the representative of the customer were to leave the organization, your customer service must be convincing enough for the customer company to keep doing business with you. Similarly, if the person, who was the contact from your company, leaves, the customer should remain comfortable with you. Build the relationship between the companies and not just the individuals negotiating the deal. Another aspect of great customer service that will ensure that you don’t lose customers despite your best efforts.

It is worth remembering that appreciating your customers, exceeding their expectations, meeting deadlines and keeping them informed, all form the essentials of great customer service. However, simultaneously it is important to attach due importance to the strategies and policies of your company, treating your employees with respect and creating a balance of power will increase your chances of gaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. The times are changing at break neck speed with no sureties and guarantees. The best that can be done is to remain abreast with these changes, constantly re-evaluate your company’s long and short-term goals and align your customer service to keep it as error-free as is possible. Updated technology, pertinent training for the customer service staff, incentive programs for both customers and employees – are all means to the end of retaining your customers for the longest possible time. After you have done everything in your power, to gain your customer’s trust and loyalty, there may be one or two customers that would still leave you. Make an effort to understand why and then let go once you have evaluated the reasons. It is alright to lose a customer who doesn’t appreciate you rather than upsetting the ones that have stuck with you despite some odds.

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