Are You at Risk of Losing Customers?
By Alan Fairweather
Saturday, 8th December 2012
Let me ask you a simple question; how many customers have you lost this month?

Is that making you feel just a teensy bit uncomfortable? I'm sure it's not something you want to think about too much.

However it's inevitable that you'll lose customers and clients for a whole range of reasons, many of which are out with your control. That's why it's vital to keep finding and developing new customers.

Don't let them leave

Finding new customers takes time and costs money, and I'm sure you've heard that it costs five times as much to find a new customer than it does to hold onto the ones you have.

So let's consider how you get better at holding onto customers.

A recent survey suggested that customers leave a business for four basic reasons:

14% leave because they're dissatisfied with the quality of the product or service

9% leave because of price

5% leave for other reasons such as they die, leave the area or have no further need for your product or service

And wait for it – A whacking great 72% leave because of "supplier indifference"

I loved that car

Let me give you an example of what I mean by supplier indifference.

A few years after starting my speaking business, the time came for me to trade in the basic (and much loved) second-hand Ford that I had been driving. The guy in the Mercedes showroom did a good selling job on me, and was a very happy boy with my new car.

But I never heard from that salesman or the car dealership again!

No one contacted me to ask if I was happy with my car. No one contacted me to ask if I wanted it serviced. No one contacted me after a couple of years to see if I wanted to trade it in for a new one.

Ironically, another Mercedes dealer kept sending me brochures and emails with details of their service and new models. So come the time to change cars, who was going to get the business? Certainly not the original car dealer!

Dare to care

Too many organisations give customers the impression that they don't care about repeat business. I've stayed in hotels, dealt with banks and stores, and dealt with many suppliers who didn't seem to care whether I came back or not. A member of staff at one budget airline recently told me, that if I didn't like being delayed for two and a half hours then I could always go elsewhere.

We need to continually let our customers know that we care about them. We need to keep in touch, write to them, send them information and occasionally ‘phone them.

When they contact us we need to make sure we sound warm and friendly, pleased to hear from them, efficient and maybe even look and sound like we're fun to do business with.

It's not a lot different from our personal relationships. If we don't keep telling the people close to us how much we care, or keep writing and ‘phoning, then we shouldn't be surprised if they leave us one day.

Remember the saying – ‘When should you tell your other half that you love them? Before somebody else does!'

Use logic and emotion to keep customers. Give them the best products or service and give value for money. However, always remember, your competitors will be doing much the same thing. The difference will be determined by how you communicate either face to face, on the ‘phone, by letter or email.

Overall, customers just want to feel good. They want to feel better after they've dealt with you or anyone in your business, than they did before. If you can create that feeling, then you're well on the way to keeping your customers.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryAlan Fairweather, "The Motivation Doctor," is an International Speaker, Best Selling Author and Sales Growth Expert. He will reveal how to – motivate your customers, motivate your team and motivate yourself!

For the past seventeen years, he's been developing the talents of Managers, Sales and Customer Service people, and turning them into consistent top performers.

Alan is a specialist in the Banking, Financial Services, Retail, Real Estate, Telecommunications, and Hospitality Industries. His inspirational and  entertaining, seminars are delivered in the UK, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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