How many customers did you lose today? It may be a hard question to answer.
The answer may lie in the question – How many poor experiences did your customers encounter today while working with your company?
89% of consumers began purchasing from a competitor following a poor experience (RightNow Technologies).
Based on the size of your company and number of staff working with customers – front line, contracts, sales, billing, service techs, etc – if 100 customers that interacted with your company TODAY felt they had a poor experience, then it would be safe to say that 89 of them will do business with your competition as soon as tomorrow.
That’s a staggering statistic. But entirely believable. We’ve all done it. As consumers, we’ve gone elsewhere when we felt we were treated rudely or inappropriately. But it doesn’t even take that much for customers to leave. All you need to do is treat your customers like a number, or make them feel “processed,” or not follow through on a promise or commitment and you can consider them a Lost Customer.
Example – I was listening to The Minimalists Podcast #126 the other day and the main topic was Quality. During the discussion, one of the hosts told the story of purchasing a couch after considering a few different companies based on the quality of the product, customer service, and price. He didn’t buy the cheapest and didn’t buy the most expensive, but he stated he “didn’t go cheap.”
They were making a point about what to consider when spending money on items quality items. They incorporated the quality of the company and experience under that topic heading. The host purchased the couch 12 weeks ago. He said the customer service at the time of purchase was right on target and they were told they’d have the couch in 12 weeks. He has now had to contact the company several times because he still has not received it. He finally got a response and was told that it would be about another 2 weeks. The hosts made the point that the expectation of 12 weeks was set by the company, yet they failed to follow through on that commitment. He would have forgiven them that (because life happens) but he was most irked that the customer service after the sale was nonexistent and that he was now doing their job of trying to get a delivery date.
He said that he would no longer recommend the company – and he isn’t even referencing the product. He is basing this solely on the fact that the experience was poor. This host would certainly be considered a Lost Customer.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 48% of people who had negative experiences told 10 or more people about it. Unfortunately for BoConcept, the company he purchased the couch from, he also has a website… and a podcast… so he is sharing that experience in the context of Quality, or lack thereof.
I wonder how much money their lack of service after the sale has cost them.
Please share your thoughts below…