For any business, it’s often much more important to hang on to existing customers than to find new customers. According to various studies, your chances of selling a new product to a current customer is about 60 to 70 percent. But selling to a new customer succeeds only 5 to 20 percent of the time. That means you’ll need to spend 6 to 7 times more money to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
The problem with losing a customer is that you just don’t lose the potential profits from that person. This person is also part of a community or network and their dissatisfaction with your company will be known to others. On average, customers tell about 9 to 15 other people about how dissatisfied they were with your company. And it’s also very likely that each of these people would also spread the news to others.
But the truth is, every company in the world has its share of dissatisfied customers. That doesn’t mean you’ll lose them forever (and their friends!). In fact, you still have the opportunity to convert them into passionate advocates of your brand when you deal with their complaints properly. The key is to know when a particular customer is feeling disgruntled and dissatisfied with your company, and take action right away.
There are some clear danger signs you can watch out for so that you can redouble your efforts into better handling complaints and dissatisfaction from a particular customer. Here are some indicators that a customer is very frustrated with your company and may be considering leaving you for a competitor:
- The customer is complaining frequently. It’s already not a good sign when a customer complains. But it is a serious problem when he or she becomes a constant complainant. Not every one of them are just being whiny. Some are complaining more often as a sign of frustration. Others keep complaining because problems keep cropping up. You need to identify these people, because they’re much more likely to go to your competitor if their problems aren’t addressed soon.
- They keep mentioning your contract terms. It’s like they have to remind you of what you promised, and that means in their view is that you failed to deliver. When they feel the need to remind you of what you need to do, it means that they are starting to mistrust you.
- They compare your services to what your competitors are offering. This is a true danger sign, as it indicates that your customer has taken the time and effort to investigate their other options. So if they keep mentioning a rival company, it’s a veiled threat that they’re thinking of switching.
- They no longer engage with your company. They don’t log on to your website, or even open the emails you sent them. There are a lot of this kind of people, and they’re far more numerous than the complaining type. You need to reach out to dissatisfied customers who don’t complain because if you don’t, then you have effectively driven them away. Losing some of your current customers is a natural part of business, but part of your job is to increase customer retention. You can do this by providing excellent customer support, identifying the cause of the complaints and providing win-win solutions. By increasing customer retention by just 2% you will be able to cut down costs by a whopping 10%! That’s a benefit to your company that you simply can’t ignore.