5 min read |  Posted Aug 21, 2018

The Best Ways to Improve Bad Customer Service and Stop Losing Customers

Stop Losing Customers

There are many common reasons that customers and clients may switch companies. If your customer switching costs are high, it could be because of bad customer service and other driving factors, such as:

  1. Lack of Perceived Value
  2. Diminished Trust
  3. Apathy
  4. Personnel Changes
  5. Changing Customer Needs

Stop losing customers by letting people down. Begin to turn your unsatisfied customers into satisfied customers by understanding what the common reasons are for customers to leave and switch providers.

Why Customers Leave

Reason #1: Lack of Perceived Value

What is the value you provide through your service? Satisfied customers are those who perceive greater value in paying for your product or service than another option, or doing it themselves. Keep in mind, adding value does not necessarily mean lowering prices. Value can be added with superior customer relationship management, reworking your service plans to provide more for the same price, and various other methods.

Prevention: Provide an unmatched level of perceived value.

Think of your service/product in terms of how it solves the problems that your customer has and giving them the value they expect for the price they pay. Now, knowing this, begin to clearly communicate the value through your marketing and customer experience segments of the business. Remember, keep the focus on them – not you.

For example, do you make pizza? Or do you provide a community focused meal that your audience can gather around?

Reason #2: Diminished Trust

Determine at what levels customers are not trusting your business, evaluate solutions, and implement accordingly. Hubspot research showed recently that “81% of consumers trust their friends and family’s advice over advice from a business.” Thus, authentic relationship building is the direction to pursue to increase customer retention.

Prevention: Improve Your Customer Service

Refuse to let people down by training your managers and employees in customer relationship management. But how? Check out these tips for assisting customers and improving service in your small business. If you have bad customer service, your switching costs (meaning the cost of a customer to switch from you to a competitor) will be lower, when you really want them to be higher. If people are happy working with you because a trusting relationship is established, they are less likely to shop around at what your competitors are offering.

To paraphrase Newton’s Law of Inertia, a satisfied customer will stay at your company, and an unsatisfied customer will move around.

Reason #3: Apathy

Can customers become enthusiastic about your business? Or is it no big deal to them? To prevent apathy, clearly communicate why you offer what you offer. It is not about the features of the service, because your competitors offer the same – or very similar – services. To keep your customers emotionally engaged with your business requires proactive measures to make them feel like they won’t get the same level or care, attention, transparency, etc. This is strongly related to the way you brand your business.

Prevention: Know Your “Why?”

Why do you do what you do? If your business didn’t offer any products or services yet, what would you tell people that you were about? Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, revolutionized why businesses are in business and this revolution is still raging. If your explanation of your business only involves what you do and the tools and methods you use to do it, then take the time to define your ”why” and approach your marketing with that perspective.

Reason #4: Personnel Changes

Employees are the #1 asset of a service business. Without your people, your business does not do business. When key employees that customers love and had a solid business relationship with leave or transition into a different role, customers might not feel compelled to return. Implementing high standards of employee care to keep employee turnover at a minimum is the start to mitigating customer loss due to personnel changes.

Prevention: Apply the “Platinum Rule”

Work hard for your employees just as you do for your customers. Beyond what it would look like to follow the “Golden Rule,” where you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Instead, apply the “Platinum Rule,” which is better than gold, and do better for your employees than they would even expect to be treated.

Start by knowing what their expectations are. You can run an anonymous survey to collect information. There are also beneficial ways to support their mental health while at work.

Try turning decision making a more collaborative process. You might be surprised at how many of your employees and former employees leave (and as a result, how many customers leave) because they feel like they aren’t heard.

Reason #5: Changing Customer Needs

Clients needs are dynamic, and they leave to have their needs met. As their business evolves and adapts to their industry, the needs they once had may morph into needs that your services cannot meet. Remember, you cannot please everyone, but you can target customers with specific services and ways of conducting business to convert that niche group into satisfied, loyal customers.

Prevention: Refuse Bankruptcy from Complacency

Adapt your products and services to changing customer needs. If you’re focusing on selling products rather than solving problems or meeting needs, you won’t stay in business long. There could be a better solution for your clients and customers. Go. Find it. And provide that new, better solution to your customers.1 in 3 social media users prefer social media customer care services to phone or email.
(Social Media Today)

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Danielle Henslee

As talented marketing strategist, Danielle brings new insights and statistics to light as one of Third Angle’s trusted guest bloggers. When she’s not writing for us you can find her at her home company, BuilderFunnel, volunteering at various non-profits, like Blue Fire Legacy Antioch church, or retreating to the quiet beauty of the mountains.

Danielle Fauteaux

As talented marketing strategist, Danielle brings new insights and statistics to light as one of Third Angle's trusted guest bloggers. When she's not writing for us you can find her at her home company, BuilderFunnel, volunteering at various non-profits, like Blue Fire Legacy Antioch church, or retreating to the quiet beauty of the mountains.