Sure way to lose customers: Avoid doing these 3 things to retain your most valuable customers

Customers are the lifeline of any business. But what makes customers move away from your business? Most businesses invest a lot of resources in acquiring new customers. But they do not have the same focus when it comes to retaining existing customers. Read on to understand what can make or break the tough customer love.
by Jey Geethan | November 07, 2022

What's a business without customers?

There is no business without customers. Customers are the central pillar of any business. And that's exactly the reason that most business owners invest considerable resources to gain new customers. Customer acquisition can be difficult but even more difficult is retaining existing customers. In a consumer world, customers have the advantage of moving to other competitors if their current suppliers' product or service is not up to the mark.

Personal Experience

When I talk about business or startups, I talk from my personal experience. Having run a successful startup and right now in my next venture, I can personally talk more about what can work. One such topic that is close to my heart is - Customer love. It's like any relationship - it starts with an energy that is extraordinary and over a while, it can either can get strengthened or it can wither away. Most relationships that survive the test of time have either solid foundations or some external constraints that still keep the relationship going despite a lack of love and understanding.

PS: I write young adult novels, so pardon my comparison to love and relationships for a business article!

That said, customer love can be strengthened very easily by following certain principles. I call them principles because for every business the action could be different but not the actual reason for doing it.

Principle #1: Keep adding more value over a long period

Be it a product or service, you should look at ways you can keep adding more value to the customers as months and years pass by. Customers would have been attracted to you initially because of some value proposition. But that value proposition could have changed now. Or the customer might have a completely different need. So it is always imperative to keep adding more value - either adjacent to your current offering or add new values completely different from what you are providing now.

Principle #2: Listen to their problems, even if there are none

Most businesses assume that since the customer is paying regularly, they are happy. This is the most typical reason for any business to wither away without the business owner knowing what happened. You have to keep asking and keep listening to the problems that your customer is facing at regular intervals. They might not be problems because of your offerings, but could be because of some other unrelated issue. But this is a chance for you to step up and try to see if your business can solve that problem. At least I will never forget a business that took care of me well.

Principle #3: Accept your mistakes

When a customer is about to churn, it is not your chance to rectify any mistakes. That time has already crossed. Most CSMs try to retain that customer by offering more discounts. But this can only work for so much before the customer churns. Accept your mistake and figure out how to solve that for the next customer. After correcting your product or service, you can now go back to the customer and let them know that you have taken corrective measures. They may not become your customer again, but still, you would have earned their respect. Remember businesses are built to last decades. So there's always a chance for the gone customers to return even after a few years!

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