3 signs customers are going to leave your business


Let’s get straight to the 3 signs so you can either breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself and your team on the back, or you can do a little business housekeeping and tidy up the problems.

1.      Customers are waiting

Yes, this seems obvious but it’s not just relevant to customers waiting in a queue for service, it’s just as relevant to customers who are waiting for an email or telephone response.

Solution: Set a standard for returning emails and telephone messages within 24 hours. For emails, have an auto-respond in place. For the telephone, use a personal message that tells the caller what you are doing today and when you will call back. That extra 3 mins in the morning to change your phone message is evidence you care and is also a great little marketing tactic to share with your customers what great stuff you are doing e.g. “Hi, thanks for calling. I’m currently working on some exciting new products but will return all calls after 1pm today”. Aim to exceed the 24 hours every time. Customers love having their expectations exceeded.

2.      Your website or social media links don’t work

It would be great if customers would let us know of these issues, but they are busy too and you’re probably not at the top of their list of people to help. When links don’t work, it sows a seed of doubt in some customers mind as to whether you pay attention to details, provide great quality products and services or that you care about a customer’s experience.

Solution: If you don’t have web support services doing regular checks, ask an employee or someone in your network who you value for their eye for detail, to do some link checks. Thank them for their time i.e. shout them a coffee, box of chocolates, donate to their favourite charity or something that confirms you value them as much as your customers.

3.      You over service

Someone told you (or your read somewhere) that to gain and retain customers, a business should do 1 blog per week, 1 newsletter per fortnight, courtesy call 10 customers a month, start a Podcast, do regular live Facebook videos, tweet 5 times a day and post on Instagram as much as possible. Phew, I’m tired just writing that out. Sure, connecting regularly with customers is highly recommended and using technology is a time effective way to reach many customers BUT, be mindful of not saturating potential and existing customers with too much information or “help”.

Solution: Excellent customer service is not a one size fits all process so when you engage a new customer, build into your engagement process a question that confirms their preferred method for updates and ongoing contact. It may take a little more time to manage but the outcome is you build a tribe of customers who will speak highly of your business for its attention to detail and personal touch.

Seek to know your customers so well that you know what they need, when they need it and how best to get it to them.

If you would like to know the 10 most common irritations of today’s customers, Chapter N in my book “The A – Z of Service Excellence” covers Non-Negotiable – What customers hate.

By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach