7 reasons customers leave

7 reasons customers leave

Before you go blaming poor performance on a rough economy or high Aussie dollar, it may pay to check you aren't making mistakes that can lead to customers ditching your company.

Fiona Adler founded Word of Mouth Online seven years ago after trying to find a variety of tradespeople to complete a renovation.

It has since grown into a hub where customers can post reviews of over 300,000 businesses, however she said plenty of companies still make the basic mistake of focusing on new customers at the expense of existing ones.

"Rather than focusing your efforts on chasing new customers, looking at why customers aren't returning can be eye-opening and may require just a few tweaks to your customer communication to make a world of difference," she said.

Here are seven of the major reasons your customers might be leaving. Make sure you're not guilty of them.

You're playing hard to get

"If you are too hard to contact, don't answer the phone, or never have room in your schedule, then customers will get over you," Ms Adler said.

Not having a website and failing to answer your phone or return messages is a major time-waster for potential customers and they will soon get frustrated.

"Most people lead very busy lives and if a customer puts aside time to call up to make a booking, but can't lock it in within a reasonable time frame, most are not going to work around you. They are on the phone now calling someone else because clearly it is just too difficult," she said.

They feel unloved

Customers often like to be made a fuss of and there are plenty of low-cost, simple gestures that can show people you care.

Ms Adler said sending e-cards on birthdays or discounts on special occasions can make people feel special.

"It comes down to your customer service attitude, but remembering their name, likes, dislikes and interests can go a long way to show you care," she said.

They were seduced by someone else

While businesses are always focused on attracting new business, this shouldn't be at the expense of your existing ones.

"More importantly, you can safely assume your competitors are trying to woo your customers with fabulous offers too. If you don't give customers a reason to be loyal, they'll soon start looking around at other offers and could easily be seduced by a better deal," Ms Adler said.

You kept quiet about your best assets

People don't know all the different things you can do unless you tell them. Make sure you keep your customers informed of everything you can do.

Assuming you know best

Ms Adler said it's important to research what people want by finding out what they are saying online, what your competitors offer and how to build a more positive reputation.

Someone else did it better

It may sound like hard work, but keeping customers happy means continually impressing them.

"You need to look good, provide fabulous service, please them with your price points, and always keep things new and fresh," Ms Adler said.

"If you play old music in your shop or leave a mess, your customers will be bored and unimpressed - which of course results in them looking towards greener pastures. Don't fall into the trap of regarding customers as 'just a regular' - (you should) 'wow' everyone who walks through your door."

They forgot about you

People are busy with a lot on their plates, so won't necessarily remember the last time you fixed their car or gave them a great haircut, Ms Adler said.

"It's a good idea to call, email, or send a letter reminding them that you looked after them last season or last month, and that you're available for them again. Unless you follow up, chances are they'll be looking around for another supplier. Set up a program of regular communication and your customer retention will improve dramatically."

For the original article from Perthnow click here.