Have you ever wondered why customers leave you for a competitor? In fact, most businesses overlook this key reason why customers leave. And it’s costing them dearly.
The Negative Impact of Neutral Relationships
In most cases, a customer leaves because they don't have a relationship with you. Put simply, they don't think you care about them. The relationship is neutral, characterized (in your customer’s mind at least) as indifference.
Since the relationship isn’t negative, you’re unlikely to hear a complaint or read a scathing review. In fact, you probably haven’t treated anyone poorly at all. Your product performed as expected. The service was delivered on time. Everyone involved in the transaction was polite. Maybe even friendly.
The customer may not even make a conscious decision to take their business elsewhere. They simply drift away because there’s no reason to stay. Specifically, you haven't treated them in any way that made them feel special. You haven't treated them in a way that made them feel valued.
Every Moment Matters
You might be surprised to learn that there’s no single make-or-break moment in your sales or service model. In fact, every moment matters. Every interaction with your customer is an opportunity to show them you truly care about them.
- Are you finding opportunities during each customer interaction to go above and beyond?
- Do you remember what each customer tells you and repeat back what matters most to them?
- Is there room in your service delivery for personalization? Or do you always follow the same script?
- When you make a mistake, do you offer to make it right for that customer or offer a generic apology?
Meeting the Moment(s) with Empathy
Good service begins with empathy, which requires attentive listening. Follow your customers on social media and read their public, online forums. Listen to what your customers say to you, about you, and about your competitors. Ask why they chose your company and why that differentiator was the driving factor. Write down their answers. Repeat their words back to them in later interactions.
Focus on expanding your capacity for empathy. How does your customer feel during each interaction? What do they truly want or need from you, beyond the menu of services you provide? Zone in on what makes each customer feel special and valued. Take notes. Operationalize your findings and personalize future interactions.
When you inevitably make a mistake, remember that this is an opportunity to understand your customer better and show them how much you care. Apologize with sincerity and offer to make things right. Don’t forget to reinforce with your customer how much you value them.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Let’s face it, we don’t all have our Empathy dial turned up to 11. Some of us are not great listeners under the best conditions, not to mention during a crisis or under the general (and pervasive) stress of running a business. These are not excuses to distance ourselves from our customers, though. If you know this is an area where you struggle, call in expert help. Our team specializes in helping companies build fiercely loyal customers. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help!