Archive for the ‘Customer Experience’ Category

Are You Losing Customers?

Saturday, February 8th, 2014


I AM A CUSTOMER. In the last month, I have contacted a number of small businesses and companies to get information and pricing for a soup-to-nuts residential design project. Overall my customer experience has been extremely varied, but one thing I know for sure; I will not do business with you and this is why!

CASUDI~losing~customers

Slow response time

 

I make it very clear that I am looking for information to make a final selection for products and services for an architectural project, where the plans are being submitted to the planning department at the end of the month. Timely response requested, please! Some of my requests are for large ticket items, which can positively impact a small business or even a larger company.

When I don’t hear back after my initial email, web contact or tweet inquiry within 24 hours, I am already doubtful if we will be able to do business. This has proven to be the case when I have continued a dialog with those whose first response arrived one or two weeks! later Everything seems to continue at the pace set by our first exchange, and I can expect bids to take two weeks or more….

Something especially frustrating, is when making inquiries to a company about their product, you are directed to a dealer, who sometimes takes more than two weeks to reply, and when they finally contact me they try to sell me something else! Hello?

Some companies have learned that when a customer inquiry comes to them directly, even though they only sell through dealers, they give the information, answer questions, and in some instances even give pricing estimates, sometimes within 24 hours! I love that! And I’m happy to buy from their dealer too (assuming I get the same follow through).

Not answering the question I ask

 

If you are not going to provide ma a clear answer to my the questions at the beginning of the sales dialog, how are we going to work together on a complex project?

Recently, after an initial phone conversation where I was researching to find out if a company carried the specific type of product I was interested in, and could they also do the installation, I emailed them with specific questions; I wanted a list of the components and a breakdown of all the costs, including installation. The response was a long email expounding the virtues of the company, including the prestigious recent architectural projects using the product and services I was interested in.

What the salesman didn’t realize was that I was already sold on the product when I called, and wanted more detailed components & pricing answers to my questions! Lots of time wasted there (and I’m still waiting for my info!)

Not producing the information I need

 

Some people feel that educating me will result in my taking the information, but not buying product. Well; the exact opposite works for me. The more I am educated and learn about the product(s) and services from the sales person, the more likely I am to do business with that person and their company; provided of course it’s the right product for my specific design. It’s the educational learning process, getting the information I need in order to make the right purchase decisions. that is the deciding factor, both for the product, and where to buy it.

A sales person who at the first point of contact is helpful and informative is more likely to support me and be part of a company that contributes throughout my project. The opposite is usually true; an unhelpful person, unwilling to share information is unlikely to be a useful part of my team.

Failing to break down costs

 

This is a deal breaker, especially in complex scenarios. In order to budget a project that is not plagued with budget overruns, I need to understand every component and its cost. Yet many businesses are reluctant to even give a price range at the beginning of the process. And it’s not as though I am a price-shopper, I make that very clear at the onset; I want to know that what I want is in the range of the preliminary budget I created, or do I need to modify my budget to get what I want for a project.

I mentor businesses, and this is often a dilemma. How to present cost breakdowns so the customer understands the costs, and does not begrudge the profit a business is entitled to make. However, non-transparent costs raise red flags for me!

Every business owner can learn from this web page with two million views, “How Much Does a Fiberglass Pool Cost?”

Giving the impression that you don’t care

 

 

This one is hard to believe, but it happens more often than you might think. You can only make that first impression once, as the saying goes, so why don’t you show me that you care about my project, and care about having me as a customer?

I think this attitude sometimes comes from businesses who focus on doing business with big name or  ‘name-brand’ customers only. In my experience, building businesses from the ground up, I learned to take care of big and small equally, as a small customer could grow to become your most important one!

Disclosure: I often check a vendor out with a small project, to see how we work together before offering that huge contract!

This is the customer experience assessment list that I use when I first contact a business, and it’s from the customer point of view, ME. It has helped in my decision process of who will I be comfortable doing business with for the duration of the project and potentially on future projects. Perhaps even more than comfort, it gives an indication of work ethic, timeliness and caring about me the customer before we get in too deep.

I frankly don’t believe that in today’s competitive environment the businesses that turned me off and caused me to go elsewhere did so intentionally. So why did it happen? Can any of my readers who are deeply committed to customer experience shed any light on this?  Or please add an item to the list of reasons why businesses lose customers. 

Needless to say, for every business that was a turn off, I found one that I will do business with, and whom I am confident will be a contributing and integral part of my current architectural project team.

Headline for Why a business loses customers.
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CASUDI CASUDI
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Why a business loses customers.

A list of the many reasons a business loses customers. This can be at the beginning of the sales process, the first inquiry or if your long term customers are not coming back.

Source: http://casudi.esse-group.com/customer-experience/are-you-losing-customers/

1

8 Reasons Why You're Losing Customers

Feb 09, 2014
8 Reasons Why You're Losing Customers

If your long-term customers are leaving--and not coming back--you're probably making one of these mistakes (Inc.)

Apr 28, 2014 by Anne Reuss - 360connext.com - 102
Losing Customers Graciously: The Possessive Ex Can't Get Another Date

Remember that old romance that started off strong and then ended with rage and disgust? You know the one that always makes you roll your eyes whenever someone mentions it, because it ended on such horrible terms? Break ups like this happen...

Feb 10, 2014 - mackcollier.com - 120
What Are the Top 3-5 Reasons Why I Won't Do Business With You?

Mack Collier says it all in his post ~ We are self-selecting buyers. Thanks to the huge amounts of information, opinions and data available online, we can research any type of purchase decision beforehand, and know whether or not it makes sense for us. This takes the ability of your brand to 'sell' me completely out of the equation.

Feb 11, 2014 by Dawn Kristy - inc.com - 118
Why Most Businesses Lose Customers (And How to Keep Yours)

The average small business loses half its customers within three years. That grim statistic comes from serial entrepreneur, speaker, and consultant Barry Moltz, who shared it at the recent webinar " Setting Your Small Business Up for Success in 2014." You can beat those odds, he says, by avoiding these common mistakes entrepreneurs tend to make: .

Feb 11, 2014 - getentrepreneurial.com - 92
I Hate My Customers - And What to Do About It

If you hate your customers it means you are turning customers away for sure ~ I’ve heard this on several occasions, and it’s time to find out why and make that hard decision to change direction or go out of business.

6

Slow response time

Feb 08, 2014
Slow response time

When I don’t hear back after my initial email, web contact or tweet inquiry within 24 hours, I am already doubtful if we will be able to do business.

7

Not answering the question I ask

Feb 08, 2014
Not answering the question I ask

If you are not going to provide ma a clear answer to my the questions at the beginning of the sales dialog, how are we going to work together on a complex project?

8

Not producing the information I need

Feb 08, 2014
Not producing the information I need

Some people feel that educating me will result in my taking the information, but not buying product. Well; the exact opposite works for me.

9

Failing to breakdown costs

Feb 08, 2014
Failing to breakdown costs

This is a deal breaker, especially in complex scenarios. In order to budget a project that is not plagued with budget overruns, I need to understand every component and its cost.

10

Giving the impression you dont care

Feb 08, 2014
Giving the impression you dont care

This one is hard to believe, but it happens more often than you might think. You can only make that first impression once, as the saying goes, so why don’t you show me that you care about my project, and care about having me as a customer?

Feb 10, 2014 - retail.about.com - 108
5 Ways to Lose Customers

Without customers, we wouldn't be in business. That is why it is surprising how easily retail shops unintentionally drive customers away. Sometimes, understanding the what can ruin a business can help us focus on what not to do while building our enterprise. Here are five simple ways to lose customers.

Mar 02, 2014 - getentrepreneurial.com - 115
I Hate My Customers - And What to Do About It

When a small business owner says they hate their customers, and I've heard this on several occasions, it's time to find out why and make that hard decision to change direction or go out of business. Many years ago, I met and became friends with an enterprising couple who started an 'old-world style' deli in ...

Apr 28, 2014 by Anne Reuss - providesupport.com - 114
7 Reasons Why Your Customers Are Leaving You

When complaining customers walk away from your business, it's easy to understand why. What about those who go quietly? If you think about it and try to put yourself in your customer's shoes, there's always a reason why they get frustrated and leave.