We recently moved, and this having been my fifth time moving in ten years, the process of packing, moving, and unpacking went relatively smoothly. You might say we’ve mastered the art of moving… Although my wife would rather we not.
Although the move itself was quite predictable, the obstacles and issues presented by my internet provider Rogers were not. Don’t get me wrong, I always expect there to be some sort of issue, and regardless of who my provider is they never seem to fail in satisfying this expectation.
But this time it was different.
We had scheduled our internet connection for last Sunday based solely on the availability of a technician, and in the days leading up to the connection we received two automated phone calls and an email reminding us to be ready.
At 10:45am on Sunday morning we received a message that our installer was sick, and they had in turn rescheduled our installation for Monday afternoon.
Being doubtful, I called Rogers on Monday morning to find out that the appointment was in fact on Tuesday. (You simply can’t make this stuff up!)
When the installer finally showed up, I relayed the story. He shook his head and said, “No, no one was sick. They schedule me in the area when they have a full day of work because I drive in from out of town and my schedule wasn’t full until today.”
So Rogers lied to me? Unfortunately I’ll never know for sure, but I’ll give you one guess as to who won’t have our business when our renewal comes up later this year.
I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience at some point, but rather than reflect on it I’d like you to think about your business for a few minutes. How many times have your customer deliveries or appointment times been rescheduled as a result of something that, had the customer known, would not have made them happy?
I’ll bet it’s happened more times than you know.
For every customer whose needs aren’t met, what do you think the impact is on your business? Loss of revenue; loss of the customer; a bad reputation?
In fact I suggest that of the last five customers who decided to no longer buy from your business, there was likely a reason that you aren’t unaware of.
But what if you made it a policy to personally connect with (or have one of your executives connect with – via telephone) every significant customer that decided to leave? That’s right, someone has the sole responsibility to reach out and speak with customers who leave, if not to convince them to come back, at least to find out the real reasons they left. By “reach out” I’m suggesting that you can’t…
Send them an electronic survey.
Send a form email asking them to come back.
Send them new marketing material suggesting they return.
Promote to them that you’ve improved your product or service, when you haven’t.
It’s likely that the only way you’ll ever determine why your customers left, is to take on the responsibility of understanding what caused them to leave.
With this information in hand, you’ll be well equipped to determine what changes are necessary to stop customers from leaving. More importantly, you’ll identify discrepancies in information provided by your employees that may be pushing customers away for more reasons than you know.
Don’t let your service technician or shipping clerk be the one to tell your customer the real reason you couldn’t satisfy their needs.
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© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.