Your Customers Are Cheating on You

“Customer success is simply ensuring that your customers achieve their desired outcome through their interactions with your company. That’s it” – Lincoln Murphy

The stark reality is that customers now, with so many choices and options, still want more and that means that loyalty is no longer a concern for them. Customer loyalty is ephemeral and as ideas translate to new products, customers move towards them. We are not saying that no companies have such loyal bonds with their customers. There are brands that still have customers who are strongly and firmly, attached to them – however, gaining this loyalty was not an overnight job. These brands have worked relentlessly and tirelessly to build meaningful relationships with customers – relationships that have sustained and measurable benefits. If your brand / company were not one of these smart brands, then check – if your customers are cheating on you. You would probably discover that they are.

Brands with loyal customers see clear and long-term benefits. Research shows that since retaining customers is less expensive than gaining new ones, increasing customer retention only by 5% increases the profits of a company from around 25% to as much as 95%. This is true for both the real world and the online realm. Loyal customers spend more money, return products a lot less, and are willing to double up as brand ambassadors, thereby attracting more business for a company. However, if your company does not make efforts to retain its customers through high quality products and service excellence, you should check whether your customers are cheating on you with competition. What does cheating in this scenario mean? Simply put if customers are cheating on you it means that they are buying similar products and or services from your competitors / another company. If this is the case, then your company could certainly be running into major and long-term problems.

 

While having competition is good and necessary, it is not business sense to push customers in their direction because your company messes up all the time. Given that businesses need to work extremely hard and invest a huge amount of resources to gain customers, it is surprising to see how little they do to keep these customers long-term, thereby preventing them from becoming loyal and profitable for the company. In a digital world where every connection and transaction is literally just a click away, what is it that keeps customers with a company. What could your company do if customers are cheating on you?  The first step would be to check on the reasons of why customers cheat, and how many of those reasons, your company is giving its customers.

Offering quality products and services, and competitive pricing are only two aspects of company-customer relationships, and are not enough to keep a company’s core customer base happy and loyal. If customers are cheating on you, then your company should know that it probably has not done enough to create a bond and solidify it, with customers. It is essential for your company to put in place strategies and policies to ensure that they keep coming back and you have no reason to fear that customers are cheating on you. There are several reasons that customers are cheating on you, and some of them are mentioned as you read on. We know that one of the main reasons that customers buy are emotional. They seek to satisfy certain emotional needs and it is what makes them choose one company over another. However, if customers are cheating on you then it is probably because they do not feel emotionally connected and satisfied with your company. Simply putting in place rewards and or loyalty programs will not keep customers loyal – they must know for sure that your company would do whatever possible to provide them with whatever they need. Customized solutions, tailored products, and personalized customer service is what keep customers from cheating on a company. Research proves that even if customers were part of a company’s loyalty program, they would leave it post even two poor experiences.

If customers are cheating on you, know that something your company would have done something to trigger it, and instead of reacting, it would be better to monitor constantly your customer’s behaviours while they seem to be loyal to your company. The scary part of rising competition is that a company stands to lose first its most profitable customers – they are the ones that would receive top-level service, and yet when their relationship with a company goes awry, they are the first to cheat. This is proven by research, and the advice from market experts is that companies must stop resting on laurels, resist the urge to rely on history and current service levels, but rather proactively work towards consistently improving service levels. Companies must focus on constantly understanding the most current needs and expectations of their existing and prospective customer base, and act on these needs before their competitors can even conceive solutions.

We reiterate that it is tougher for companies to attract customers, especially to replace lost ones, than it would be to make concerted efforts to build genuine emotional connections with customers. Customer loyalty does not rest on programs and incentives, and neither is it a factor of how great a company’s service may have been in the past. What builds and sustains customer loyalty and trust is a company’s unrelenting focus on investing and reinvesting in its relationship with the customers. If your customers are cheating on you, it is probably because you have not done enough to make them feel special, wanted, and important. Consistently interacting with customers, talking to them about their needs, fears, and expectations will ensure that your company understands customers and would be able to give them exactly what they want and need. If customers are cheating on you, it is probably because they do not feel that your company is truly listening to them and valuing their association.

To show that your company truly values them and to prevent customers from cheating on you, it is a great idea to complement top class service and personalization with customer loyalty, reward programs. However, before jumping onto this bandwagon, ensure that your company knows exactly what its customers would value as a reward. In addition, ensure that your company understands the best and most economical way of giving customers what they would appreciate, on a sustained basis.

As mentioned, even if customers do not always respond, they expect to know that a company is thinking of them. If your customers are cheating on you, one of the reasons could be that your company does not keep in touch with them in an engaging and meaningful manner. This means sending them information, content, and other data, which would be useful and beneficial to customers in their business and personal lives. We have mentioned before that even though customers may have easy access to information, not all of it would be useful to them. Additionally, they would need to sift through a sea of data before getting the information they actually need. Hence, by sending them relevant and useful information your company would be giving them exactly what they need and expect.

You would know that there are several other ways to prevent customers from going to competition, and your company should implement whatever would be most beneficial. If customers are cheating on you, it is most likely your fault – your company has probably failed at building an authentic and engaging relationship with customers, and not done enough to sustain current levels of commitment and loyalty. Loyalty takes time – it is a factor of creating great experiences for your customers, which in turn would make them trust and love your company. Trust breeds loyalty, and without loyalty, you can be sure that customers are cheating on you, and will one day openly ‘declare their love’ for your competitors.

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