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How To Lose Your Customers in 5 Steps (Or How to Keep Them Instead)

How To Lose Your Customers in 5 StepsCustomer retention is an important part of running a business. As you may have already experienced while running your own business, the cost of customer acquisition is going up day by day. Never before did companies have to spend more time and money on marketing strategies for building customer loyalty and attracting new prospects.

Therefore, losing a customer is, literally, a financial loss for your company, especially if they did not purchase enough from you to cover the cost of acquisition. This explains why so many companies build complex customer retention strategies and are willing to cut their margins and shower their clients with loyalty bonuses and discounts.

However, some companies seem to do everything in their powers to alienate clients. They are certainly not doing it consciously, but rather manifest a lack of understanding of what their customers expect from them.

These are the worst offenses these companies commit (plus a way to turn it around and make things good with your client base):

1. Ignore Complaints
Really, when you see a negative comment on a product page on your website or on your social media accounts, simply ignore and delete it. It will go away, the customer will get over their grudge and nobody else will notice.

In truth, a disgruntled customer who posts a negative review will feel that insult was added to the injury if you ignore or delete that review. That customer will certainly vent their anger on various forums, on the social media and to their friends and family. Like the ripples forming when you throw a stone in water, getting larger and larger, a single negative review can grow into a larger complaint against your company.

Instead, take the time to understand what went wrong with the customer’s shopping experience and try to solve that problem to the best of your abilities. First and foremost, take note of the complaint and address it.

2. Treat Your Customers as a Uniform Mass
All customers are the same – they buy the products they need, have regular lives and there is nothing exceptional about them. No need them to try to create personalized ads and marketing messages addressing various customer groups, according to their social and demographic status, and their likes and needs.

However, soon enough you will see your customers walking away. They do not feel that you understand them and have any idea what they expect of you. They are not made to feel special and find no reason to continue doing business with you.

What you should really do is strive to create a personalized shopping experience for all you clients, by segmenting them into groups with common characteristics and addressing them in a differentiated manner.

3. Promise the Moon and Give Them a Postcard
It is okay to promise whatever you think will bring people to your store. It doesn’t matter that you cannot deliver your promises – once people see what amazing products you have, they will forget about those promises. They will keep flocking to buy your products and never ask for the assorted benefits you promised them.

In reality, after they see the stark difference between what you promised and what you delivered, customers will walk away in disappointment and anger – anger that “they were had” by yet another dishonest business.

If you want to stay in business beyond the first wave of customers, always make promises you can deliver. Think hard before you state a benefit or claim any special treatment of your customers and make sure that you can make it happen for every single customer.

4. Never Follow Up
No need to send a “Thank You” message after a purchase. What for? The customer got a great deal on an amazing product, they should be thankful for it. And why should you ever inquire if they had a simple, hassle-free shopping experience? They did buy the product, right?

Actually, people expect a little token of recognition for doing business with a company. They expect their purchase to be noted and acknowledged. They even expect to be asked how easy and pleasant their shopping experience was. Perhaps everything went fine and they want to say it to you. Or they experienced a little glitch and they want to bring it to your attention. At any rate, they expect to be contacted and thanked for their business.

5. Milk Them of All Personal Data from the Start
Did you just get a new prospect on an opt-in landing page? Good! Ask them their full name, address, phone number, email, where they work, how much they make per year and how many kids they have. Do you think they might not like such a detailed opt-in form? Nah, they’ll fill it in without a passing thought.

Wrong! Faced with such a detailed request for personal information, the majority of people will back right off. They will leave your landing page and regard your company with distrust. After all, why do they need to know so many things for a simple newsletter subscription?

The right way to go about it is by not being greedy. Ask for the basic information you need for a subscription (name, email) and, as your connection to the prospect becomes closer, based on trust, you can ask for more personal details and they will be willing to give them to you.

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