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6 Great Ways to Lose Customers


You just might be making a mistake or two that’s costing you customers! Just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits up to 95%, so it makes sense to find your problem and implement a solution before your business takes a hit.

1. Problem: Using an outdated email list for campaigns.

An outdated list may wind up costing you more than a few undelivered emails. If your domain is spam listed, every email you send could wind up in your customer’s spam folder. And if you continue emailing someone who tries to opt-out, you can be penalized or fined. A spammy reputation is hard to fix, and reputable folks won't want to work with you.

Solution: Manage lists with simple tools.

Whether you choose full-fledged customer relationship management (CRM) software or a dedicated email marketing tool like MailChimp, you should always be aware of the digital management tools available to keep your lists up to date. It's even possible to automate some of the steps, for example, you can send an automatic welcome email with opt-in confirmation whenever a customer enters their email address into a form on your site.

2. Problem: Lost customer service connections.

When customers reach out to your company, will they get the same information and help no matter which person they speak to? If a representative offers a customer a refund for an issue, will they follow up? Was the customer satisfied with the solution offered? If you have no way to follow your customer service interactions, you may have big problems.

Solution: Track, analyze (and improve!) customer service outcomes.

An easy-to-use data tool like DataHero can be used to collect and analyze your customer service outcomes. DataHero board-ready reports are ready in just a few clicks, so your team can quickly analyze your customer service interactions and stay on top of which solutions work and which ones don't. Keep your customers happy by taking the best approach to solve their problems.

3. Problem: No mobile strategy.

Is your site already beautiful and easy-to-navigate on a mobile device? Good, but maybe not good enough. Your customers have different needs when accessing your site via smartphones and tablets. For example, a restaurant website may feature their menu, history, contact information, and some photos. If a customer navigates to the site on a smartphone, will they be able to quickly and easily access the information they need?

Solution: Optimize for mobile as soon as possible.

Ensuring your website looks great and functions properly across mobile devices is important. However, it's not the only thing you should consider when developing a mobile strategy. Think about your customers' behavior: when your customer uses a smartphone or tablet to access your site, what are they looking for first? How can they get at that information quickly and efficiently? Be sure your site not only looks and functions well, but that you're delivering the easy-to-find content your mobile users want.

4. Problem: Insulting your customer’s intelligence.

When presenting a negative to your customers, do you try to soften the blow with billowy copy and pretty images? If you think this will keep everyone happy, you're probably wrong. Today’s average consumer is smart and they’ve already done their homework about your products and services. Covering up the obvious won’t help your case.

Solution: Be honest.

Your customers appreciate the straight truth just as much as anyone else. While it isn't terrible to ease your customers into changes they might not love, it is important not to insult your customers by trying to make something not-so-great sound fantastic. It’s just not going to work. Instead, listen to feedback and earn trust with truth.

5. Problem: Sticking with what worked in the past.

You've found a great tactic that lands you customers en masse...and they seem to be sticking around. Should you stop exploring new tactics and just stick to that one tactic forever? It it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Wrong.

Solution: Experiment with different approaches.

Avoid getting stale. Everything gets boring after a while. Newsletters, site design, methods of advertising, package design...everything! When your customers see the same thing over and over, they want something new and fresh. While you may not want to scrap an approach that still works well, don't let it stop you from constantly coming up with new ways to engage potential and current customers.

6. Problem: Too much automation.

When a customer calls your business, an interactive voice response (IVR) system answers. They choose from a recorded list of choices. That selection leads to another list of choices. And another. So they head to live chat support on your website, but quickly realize the person responding to them is actually a bot that can't answer their specific problem.

Solution: Remember your customers are people, not robots.

The only possible outcome of overly-automated "customer service" is dissatisfied customers. Help your customers get what they need. Minimize steps, get them to a solution or live help quickly, and treat them like humans, not robots.

Attracting customers is the easy part. Keeping them takes a bit more work. Problems that cause you to lose customers start popping up when you stop thinking of your customers as individual people you want to please. Start from there and keep moving forward.

About the Author

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Topics: Customer Service Business Success Tips