Why Customers Leave…and Three Secrets to Get Them to Stay!

According to an American Society of Quality survey (2000):

  • 9% of customers leave because of competitors
  • 10% of customers leave for other reasons (move, death, etc.)
  • 14% of customers leave because of dissatisfaction with the product
  • 67% of customers leave because of an attitude of indifference on the part of a company employee

Three Ways to Get Them to Stay

The key to customer retention is to empower your employees to give your customers something they value each and every time.

1. Make it Convenient: 

Successful businesses make it easy for their customers to get what they want. Think about the systems and process you have in place through the lens of customer convenience. Ask yourself:

How many steps does your customer have to follow before they get what they want? 

  • Can you streamline a system or process to reduce those steps? 
  • Does your customer have a clear and simple path to a human voice when they have an issue? 
  • How can you minimize or even eliminate redundancy in your operations? 

Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don't reduce the human element of your organization.

ProTip: Consider a secret shopper program.  Have a secret shopper act as a customer for your business and ask them to evaluate your front desk, website, phone customer service based on convenience. 

2. Make an Immediate Impact:

Customers judge the quality of your institution by the responsiveness of the first person they come in contact with to discuss their problem. Again, ask yourself:

How can you make an immediate positive impact on your customer? 

  • Are your employees trained to find solutions even when it’s “not their job?” 

ProTip: Post these reminders where employees can see each day

  • All customers are important; they are why we're here.
  • Each individual customer craves to have their individuality recognized and acknowledged in the process of being served. 
  • We demonstrate each customer’s importance, by getting, using and remembering their name.

3. Create Customer Engagement one delighted customer at a time: 

Customers remember being delighted. To delight your customer, give them a one of a kind experience.  

Successful organizations are in the business of exceeding customer expectations by anticipating their needs and understanding that those needs evolve into higher and higher expectations over time. 

When you provide a one of a kind experience for your customer, you’re investing in customer engagement which will:

  • increase revenue,
  • generate repeat business,
  • ensure customer retention and the likelihood that your delighted customers will refer your business to their friends. 

Customer Engagement is more than customer satisfaction and deeper than loyalty. Engaged customers have an emotional connection to their provider and develop a heartfelt commitment to your company.

ProTip: Ask yourself three questions to begin to invest in customer engagement:

  • Do our products and/or services create real value for our customers?
  • Are there unmet needs that we should consider fulfilling?
  • Are our offerings unique and innovate, or are they easily matched by competitors?


Jennifer Albrecht is the Director of Professional Development and Senior Facilitator with Learn iT. She helps individuals, teams and organizations develop leadership capacity, improve business practices, strengthen relationships and enhance performance to achieve bottom-line results. For more Customer Service and Professional Development tips, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.