5 reasons why your customers are leaving you (and what you can do about it)

Written by Tim Mears on August 29 2018

It’s always upsetting to see a customer go. But it’s more upsetting to see many customers go.

Customer churn (also known as customer attrition) is one of the most important metrics any business can track. And if you’ve noticed your churn rate increasing recently, you might be asking yourself: why are my customers leaving?

In this article, we’ll cover the five top reasons why your customers are leaving you – and what you can do about it.

1. Your customer service is poor

You might have the friendliest, most competent staff in the world, but there’s still a good chance your customer service isn’t good enough.

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but research from Bain & Company found that while 80 percent of companies believe they deliver ‘superior experience’ and service, only 8 percent of customers agree. Ouch.

Here’s the thing: your customer service is probably not as good as you think it is. It’s probably not very good at all. And bad customer service is the reason why 86 percent of consumers take their business elsewhere.

So what can you do to provide better customer service? Here are a few tips:

  • Make it easy for customers to self-serve with written help guides, FAQs and video tutorials that can help resolve common issues. According to Oracle, 55 percent of consumers cite ‘the ability to easily find information or help’ as a key factor in their brand loyalty.
  • Be friendly and human. Kindness, friendliness and empathy go a long way, especially in the era of social media and online reviews. Many consumers rate empathy as being more important than speed in customer service delivery.
  • Know your customers. Nothing irritates a customer more than a customer service agent who doesn’t seem to know anything about their purchase history, account details or product interests. Get a CRM system, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, and use it.

Need more help? Read our article on how to provide the best customer service.

2. You’re not proactively checking in on customers or asking for feedback

Another reason why you may be losing customers is because you’re failing to check in on them.

Why does checking in matter? Because 50 percent of consumers don’t report problems or issues to customer support. Instead, they brood in silence and eventually take their business elsewhere. If you’re not proactively checking in on customers and asking for feedback, you’re not getting ahead of problems and resolving them. You’re letting your customers go.

The solution here is simple: check in on your customers every now and then. Ask how things are going. Recommend products or services that you think might help them, and give them the opportunity to air any grievances. It pays to nurture existing customers in this way, and it’s an easy thing to do with an efficient CRM system in place.

3. You don’t resolve issues quickly

There’s a strong correlation between how long you take to resolve a customer’s problem and their likelihood to repurchase. Indeed, research shows that more than 80 percent of customers are likely to buy from you again if you resolve issues quickly.

So if your customers are leaving your business in droves, it’s worth taking a look at your customer service logs and delving into the data. How long does it take to resolve an issue from the time it’s reported? How many calls, emails and messages do customers send about one issue? How many issues are left unresolved? If it takes multiple days and several phone calls or emails to resolve an issue, then you’ve got a problem.

Download our free guide to using dynamics 365 for customer delight

A good CRM system like Dynamics 365 will help you keep track of information like this. With features like predictive care and targeted analysis of customer support operations, it will help you spot (and address) worrying trends in your customer service data.

4. You’re not addressing online complaints

What’s the one thing a customer is likely to do after a bad experience, aside from take their business elsewhere? Post a review online.

Unhappy customers, on average, will tell 16 other people about their bad experience – that makes 16 people who will probably not consider doing business with you in the future. What’s more, customers who have had a bad experience are two to three times more likely to write angry reviews or complaints online (and on social media) than happy customers are to write positive ones.

The problem with this is that word of mouth and online reviews are like potent anti-referrals. Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust their best friend’s recommendations; if you’re not responding to negative comments and complaints, you’re letting them fester.

The good news is that addressing online complaints goes a long way towards winning back frustrated customers. According to Oracle, organisations that responded to negative comments ‘pleased’ 49 percent of consumers, and even prompted 22 percent to post positive comments in return. Our advice? Be understanding, be responsive.

5. You’re not giving customers the right offers or products

There’s another, far more simple reason why your customers are leaving: you’re not giving them what they need.

To really retain someone’s business, you need to know what they want and what they’ll need in the future – and you need to be able to meet those needs with the right products and services, at the right time for your customers.

Predicting demands like this will help you cross-sell and up-sell effectively and get more from existing customers. And it will boost your customer retention rate. If you’ve got a good CRM system in place, this is a pretty easy thing to do.

If you find you can’t meet a customer’s needs, let them go. Their departure, while unfortunate, will make room for a customer who is a better fit for your business.

It’s not them, it’s (probably) you

It’s easy to get defensive when a customer leaves. But the reality is that in most cases, a customer leaves because you failed to meet their expectations. And expectation management is the line between satisfied and unsatisfied customers.

If your churn rate is looking a little high, take a moment to pause and examine your business. Is your customer service as good as it can be? Are you checking in on customers? Are you addressing online complaints? It’s true, this level of attentiveness takes time, but an effective CRM system like Dynamics 365 gives you that time back while keeping customers happy.

At the end of the day, you can’t control or change a customer’s behaviour, but you can change your own.

Download our free guide to using dynamics 365 for customer delight