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3 Ways to Lose or Keep a Customer

By Tim Deuitch

Do you understand your customer's expected experience? Does your customer feel taken advantage of? When is the last time you connected with your customer? In this video, Tim Deuitch and Andrea McOwen discuss three ways you could lose or keep a customer.

Tim Deuitch: 00:01 No company wants to lose customers.

Andrea McOwen: 00:11 No.

Tim Deuitch: 00:12 But it's easier than ever to lose customers these days, isn't it?

Andrea McOwen: 00:16 It is.

Tim Deuitch: 00:16 There's two stats that came out in some recent research that just really struck me. One is 32% of customers who say they love a brand, leave that brand after one bad experience. It's fickle, right?

Andrea McOwen: 00:31 Help? What to put here instead of - Mm-hmm.

Tim Deuitch: 00:33 At the same time, 77% of customers who have a good experience will tell others. So there's power in treating people well because they'll share that, but there's also loss if you don't treat them well.

Andrea McOwen: 00:46 Right.

Tim Deuitch: 00:46 So let's talk some do's and don'ts.

Andrea McOwen: 00:48 Okay, well one do is to remember to satisfy the customer in the way that really matters to them. What I mean by that is all salespeople will ask what the end result should be or what their customer wants, but they a lot of times forget to ask other questions and be curious about what kind of experience does their customer want. I have an example of where one of our clients was installing a new computer system for one of their customers, and it was really important to the customer that his employees not have to stay late or work overtime because of this new installation. Well, the salesperson never discovered that and never asked any questions around that. As a result, they did have to stay late. They did work over time. And while the end result was exactly what the salesperson said that he or she would deliver, it wasn't the experience that the customer was hoping for.

Tim Deuitch: 01:38 So the sale was there but the experience wasn't.

Andrea McOwen: 01:42 Right.

Tim Deuitch: 01:42 I'll add to that, and that is about the challenge of making sure that your customer doesn't feel taken for granted. The do of that is to thank them. We're all thanked pretty nicely when we make an actual purchase or we make a sustained purchase, and so forth. But the key for many customers to keeping them is to thank them for the other things they do. Like giving you their mind, giving you their thoughts, certainly giving you their time.

Andrea McOwen: 02:14 Time.

Tim Deuitch: 02:15 And giving you their perspective on something to share that with you. The more we express our appreciation for the total experience that they share with us and that they feel like they shared with us, the more loyal they'll be.

Andrea McOwen: 02:29 And you said the more that we share with them or express our appreciation, one of the pitfalls I think is silence. That we don't reach out to our customers often enough and we don't make it easy for them to engage with us. There should be systems in place where everyone in the organization can feel comfortable reaching out to the customer. That can be the sales person, the project manager, the customer service person, a technical person or even management. There should be a protocol in place that makes that easy for people to do.

Tim Deuitch: 02:58 Absolutely. So a quick review. One is to stay curious, recognize the total experience that they're experiencing, and give them a chance to be understood not just for the sale, but for all that's going on.

Andrea McOwen: 03:14 Right.

Tim Deuitch: 03:15 The second is don't take them for granted. Don't take any part of that for granted. Always be ready to thank them for their longevity of service, for the way they think about you, for sharing their opinions, all the way through. And the third is to stay connected. No silence.

Andrea McOwen: 03:32 Right.

Tim Deuitch: 03:34 Stay connected. They know then that all three things are in play. That you're curious about them, you're staying connected with them, and that you are thanking them for everything they do. You do all three, you'll retain your customers.

Andrea McOwen: 03:46 Yes.

Published: November 17, 2020

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Tim Deuitch

Vice President - Client Success

Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.

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