Do you often boast of a loyal customer base?
I am sure you have toiled enough to earn a handsome number of customers for your brand, and these customers will stick with your brand for a long time.
Or is that what you as a brand manager have been led to believe, all these years?
Times have changed and the reality of it is pretty harsh unless your company has the ability to adapt with the changing needs and preferences of customers. To be straightforward, present times are typically a ‘perform or perish’ situation, where you customers will not dither a little, before moving to another brand. Yes, you read that right – the time for ‘second chances’ is dead and gone!
On an average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase, and 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you after deserting your brand.
So, now you have a clear picture of both possessing and losing loyal customers.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the ‘Why’. Why loyal customers choose to desert a brand? What are the underlying reasons for loyal customers to move to another brand?
- Your Customer Service Quality Sucks
Sorry for saying that, but I am trying to be as honest as possible. You might have exemplary products and services, but bad customer service has the ability to bring your business down, and negate all the efforts you have put in towards innovation and product development. If your customer service is anything less than satisfactory, you can be almost sure that customers are already contemplating deserting your brand. Therefore, you should always have your best people to take care of loyal customers – executives who know all about the products and services, along with being the finest communicators. Moreover, it is perhaps most important to keep your customer service team motivated at all times, because truth be told – happy employees will result in happy customers.
- No Omnichannel Presence
Under current circumstances, if your brand doesn’t have Omnichannel support, you are most certainly doomed. Why do I say that? Look around you – how does your customers choose to interact with your brand? Do they only seek phone support? In all and every probability, you answer would be a resonating ‘No’. The new age customers prefer to interact with brands in any and every medium possible. This necessarily means email, chat & messaging, social media, mobile, app feedback, etc. So, your brand not only has to be present in all these mediums of communications but also has to be more than active. If you haven’t integrated Omnichannel mode of communication in your contact center, chances are that a significant number of your customers have already jumped ship. However, it is never too late to start, so you must incorporate Omnichannel at the earliest.
- Appalling Customer Complaint Handling
Since customers have the liberty to interact via any medium with your brand, they also immediately have the right to articulate their complaints in any channel of communication. Therefore, the one thing that will completely irk loyal customers is – appalling handling of complaints. Negative customer feedback is of paramount importance for your business than positive ones, as they help you to identify the pain points and areas where a product or service can be improved. Thus, you should approach customer complaints with a positive attitude. Apart from losing customers, you also run the risk of severely denting your brand image, if you don’t handle customer complaints correctly. This is because your loyal customers can easily write a stinker post on social media or app feedback, when their complaints are handled shoddily.
- Lack of Customer Engagement Policies
Some years back, a management consulting firm conducted a thorough research to find the primary cause for customer attrition at a leading bank. What they discovered challenged prevalent industry beliefs. They identified customer disengagement as the principal reason for customers deserting the bank. The options for brands are almost endless to ensure proper customer engagement such as – bonus point schemes, exclusive discounts and offers, or free tickets to a movie. The stark reality is that if your company doesn’t provide exclusive engagement policies to keep loyal customers connected with your brand, competitors will certainly pick up the cue sooner or later, and offer the same to your customers.
- Don’t Make Promises you Can’t Keep
Remember the time your good friend had failed to fulfil a promise he/she had made? Surely, you will also remember the weight of disappointment. It is because you had counted heavily on that promise. Your customers are more than likely to feel the same disappointment or manifold, when your brand fails to keep the promises made. These promises can be as simple as – timely order delivery, excellent return policy, or guaranteed cashback. A business transaction is entirely based on trust and when you make promises you can’t keep, your customers loses trust on your brand. This results in losing customers once and for all.
Are there any other key reasons why loyal customers choose to desert a brand, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.