Losing Customers: What Lessons You Stand to Learn

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We’ve all lost customers at some point. Whether it’s something within our control or not, losing customers is any business’s worst nightmare. After all, customers are the lifeblood of a company, and it’s our goal to keep them feeling happy and satisfied.

There’s no shortage of resources out there about the value of customer experience and how to improve it. But most companies stop there. Top businesses, however, assess and study the customers they’ve lost.

While it can feel uncomfortable to focus on lost customers, it’s an ideal opportunity to reflect on what you could’ve done better. Use your setbacks as learning opportunities so that you can reduce the number of customers you lose in the future.

7 Lessons to Take Away from Losing Customers

If you can correct the issues and improve, losing customers can be an opportunity to earn new ones. Let’s discover why that is true…

1) It Shows You What You’re Missing

According to PwC’s future of CX report, a survey of 15,000 consumers revealed that 1 out of 3 customers would leave a brand they love if they had just one bad customer experience. In addition to that, 92% of consumers agreed that they would no longer buy from a brand after 2 to 3 negative experiences.

Obviously, customer experience is critical, but how do you know if you give your customers the best experience?

This is where losing customers can provide you with valuable information and insight. You can then create a better experience moving forward. Most companies take pride in their customer service. But it takes seeing things through the customer’s eyes to understand what purchasing from your company is like.

When you lose a customer, instead of whining about it, take the time to listen to your existing customers and identify where you can make improvements. 

2) It Tells You There Are Issues

It’s easy for businesses to think they’ve built a company that delivers a quality customer experience… until they start losing customers.

Let’s be clear—you can’t assume that there is nothing wrong if you aren’t getting customer complaints. In most cases, customers lack an efficient feedback channel to be heard. So, they just abandon a brand without complaining.

A report from Deloitte found that 88% of companies worldwide have prioritized customer experience by expanding their contact centers. In fact, many companies now compete based on customer experience.

When you lose customers, look for trends and patterns. This will indicate hidden issues that need to be addressed. It is also something you can do regarding customers that aren’t buying. The sooner you can address those issues, the sooner you can mitigate losing more customers in the future. 

3) It Reminds You to React Professionally

Losing customers can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. However, it’s no reason to treat your lost customers poorly.

You will inevitably have unhappy customers. After all, no one can please everybody. But you need to approach every situation differently to understand the circumstances that led a customer to leave. 

Whether they provide negative feedback or not, take time to respond to the customers you’ve lost. Treat them with respect and professionalism. 

Seek their feedback on what went wrong. Show them your willingness to address the issue and make improvements for the future. By responding professionally and with respect, you can win back the trust of those lost customers, as well as existing and future ones. 

4) It Keeps You from Getting Too Comfortable

The business landscape is constantly evolving, and so are the needs of our customers. 

When you lose a customer, it’s an opportunity to rethink how you are currently doing business. It’s easy to get comfortable when you have a steady stream of customers. But you can’t sit on your laurels while your competitors are still adapting and innovating.

Losing a customer is an opportunity to innovate and make changes that will help you compete in your industry and please your customers. Keep a close eye on market trends and customer preferences. Always use data to identify how you can take your small business to the next level. 

5) It Teaches You to Follow Data, Not Your Emotions

Any decision you make in your business following the loss of a customer should be backed by data. Don’t make rash decisions that are based on your emotions. 

Use the feedback you receive and any other data you have compiled to develop a better customer service strategy. Here are some questions that will help you focus on data instead of relying on your emotions when you respond to losing customers:

6) It Can Keep You Moving Forward

As we’ve talked about in a past article, learning to fail is an essential business-building skill. Failure can be an opportunity for growth when it motivates us to move forward.

But how exactly do you do this?

When you are losing customers, it allows you to look inwards at the aspects of your business that you need to improve and ask things like:

Do a competitor analysis so you can assess how your competition is doing. This will also ensure you don’t get left behind by your competition. What are they doing that you can adapt or improve in your business? 

And remember, not all the reasons customers leave are about your business. In some cases, they just want something you don’t currently offer. 

7) It Keeps You in Touch with Your Customers’ Needs & Wants

According to Statista, the global average of digital customer interactions that brands initiated rose by 60% from June 2017 to July 2020. That’s impressive, and it emphasizes the value of brands engaging customers. 

If you’ve lost customers and want to avoid losing more, it is important to interact with them to know their needs and wants. 

Customer expectations are at an all-time high. That is especially true now they have plenty of channels to express their frustration about a brand experience. Something as simple as customer follow-up can often avoid a poor customer experience. 

How to Apply This Feedback Moving Forward

Two male business professionals in suits shaking hands in office.

When you take the lessons above seriously, you’ll find that your brand bounces back quickly after losing customers. Here are some more strategies to help turn your “failures” into positive learning experiences that pave the way for growth:

Final Thoughts

For most businesses, the thought of losing customers is enough to send them into overdrive. But as mentioned above, you can’t base your actions on emotions. It’s critical that you understand what your customer wants and how the market is changing. Positioning your brand is a constant pursuit, and you must be ready to adapt.

Unfortunately, not every organization is equipped with the tools or knowledge to do these assessments. Viral Solutions is here to help with a free marketing audit, where we’ll identify issues that could lead to your business losing its customers. Take advantage of this opportunity today!

 


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Filed Under: Business Tips

About Thomas von Ahn

With more than 30 years of experience in B2B sales across various industries, Thomas has unique insight into both the offline and online sales sphere. It was during his time in the trenches that Thomas noticed a recurring theme: Though business owners are knowledgeable about their craft or trade, they often struggle to market and sell to their prospects. This realization is what prompted Thomas and his now business partner, Christine, to bring Viral Solutions to life. Since starting the company, Thomas has been able to assist countless business owners in developing a solid marketing plan based upon sound marketing strategy, then assigning the marketing tactics to a team of talented employees, and, finally, watching those actions unfold—his true passion.

Though Viral Solutions is on Thomas’ mind 24/7, he does occasionally take a break to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and enjoy his adopted home of Wisconsin. Much of his family also works at Viral Solutions, and this closeness with family and employees is the cornerstone of the Viral Solutions culture.