Why Customers Stop Being Customers

Whether you want to admit it or not, your business makes mistakes. Maybe the quality of your work wasn’t up to par (just one time, of course:). Perhaps, your billing was incorrect and your customer was charged too much. Maybe, a job took too long, or there was something wrong with a product you sold your customer.

These things happen to customers of every business. Statistics show that customers are pretty resilient. All of these things are pretty much forgivable. Your customer will forget about billing disputes, quality issues and pretty much everything else you throw at them. But, statistics show they will not forgive you for bad customer service.

86% of people say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of just one bad customer service experience (up from 69% in 2007) – Harris Interactive, Customer Experience Impact Report, 2011). Think about that! Almost 90% of the time customers will not return if they’ve had a bad customer service experience. Wow!

So, why will a customer leave you because of bad customer service and not because of other mistakes your business may make?

Here is the answer:

Customer service is personal. A billing dispute isn’t personal. A missed appointment isn’t personal. A dirty hotel room isn’t personal. Neither is a shoddy job. But, customer service is VERY personal. Customers get upset when they’ve been treated poorly. They take it very personally.

What can you do?

1. Track Customer Service Performance – One of the best ways to do this is with call tracking and call recording. For decades call centers have used call recording to track customer service performance, but now the same technology is available to any business for a low price. You don’t need to install anything or get a new phone system. It is honestly very simple, easy and cheap.

2. Score Customer Service Performance – Scoring calls for customer service performance will help you start to see trends. You can track which employees are good at customer service and which ones are losing your business.

3. Customer Service Training – This training does not need to be an expensive endeavor. It can be as simple as you simply training your employees to sound cheerful on the phone or ask for the caller’s name and use it during the call. Little things like that will cause you—statistically—to lose less business.

4. Hold Employees Accountable – You should have a system in place that rewards good customer service and punishes poor customer service. If you listen to a call and you hear an employee providing excellent customer service compliment the employee. If you use a call recording platform and you hear a bunch of great calls, than you should throw a party for your team or provide incentives of some sort.

How Do We Know?

We record tens of thousands of customer service and sales calls a week through our call tracking platform. These calls produce valuable marketing data (call tracking analytics, lead scoring, etc.), but they also produce vital customer service data. We listen to these calls and then score them for quality and training purposes. Our scores show us (and our clients) one thing: companies treat their customers very poorly in most cases. This is not an opinion. It is fact. It is based on actual data our system pulls from actual calls.

We also hear reactions from customers who’ve been treated poorly. They take bad customer service very, very personally. If a customer is treated poorly by you or your employees they will not forget it. They have been personally offended. You have made the customer feel dumb, disrespected or angry. They’ve been frustrated and upset. They won’t forget it. That is why, 86% of the time, they won’t return.

Jason Wells

Jason Wells is CEO of ContactPoint. Their product, LogMyCalls, is an intelligent l
ead tracking tool. Visit LogMyCalls on Google+ to get marketing tips.