Why Customers Leave – Do You Care?
Why Customers Leave – And What You Can Do About It
At the risk of sounding like “Captain Obvious,” it’s safe to say that most shops would admit that working with customers is an everyday challenge – period. Even when things go right, challenging customer personalities and attitudes will still exist.
Firing Problem Customers
Of course most shops have had their fair share of customers that they hope will never come back. You know the ones — you give them the benefit of the doubt, but they continue to consistently display unrealistic expectations and seem to always want something for nothing. This brings us to our first rule.
Rule #1, you CAN “fire a customer.”
In your shop management software, you can remove a customer and prevent them from receiving communications from your shop by unchecking the “Include in CRM” checkbox. Timing is crucial here. Sooner is always better to prevent follow-up communications going to those customers you don’t want to reach out to.
The Majority of Customers – Retaining the Keepers
After hopefully “sending” your problem customers down the street to drive your competitors crazy, it’s time to focus on the “keepers.” This is a vital part of your auto shop marketing strategy.
According to the Rockerfeller Corporation, 68% of consumers leave a company because they have the perception that the business does not value them. Another 14% leave because they were dissatisfied or felt that they can find better service somewhere else. So altogether that means 82% of the reasons why customers leave are potentially within your business’s control.
Rule #2, Retaining Customers Is Within Your Control: Start by Making Sure Customers Know You Care
Source: Rockefeller Corporation
Of Course You Care, So Why Is It Necessary to Proactively Communicate it?
It is not likely that the businesses in the above mentioned survey did not actually care about 68% of customers, giving them the reason that they didn’t come back. More likely the business actually did care, although the consumers’ “perception” was otherwise.
As we agreed earlier – dealing with customers in the auto retail environment is challenging, even under the best of circumstances. If we put ourselves in their shoes it’s easy to consider that they may have at least some apprehension about how much money they may have to spend to fix their car – wouldn’t you?
If it’s true that most customers are at least somewhat apprehensive about what you’ll find wrong with their vehicle and the cost to repair the issue, then you are starting off at somewhat of a perception deficit. Customers are apprehensive but they don’t know that you care (just yet) about not draining their bank account. So tell them you care!
Rule #3 – Customers Won’t Know You Care Unless You Find a Way to Tell Them
How to Tell Them That You Care
Since you are likely already prioritizing service based upon their urgency, why not share that to your customers as a way of communicating that you care? A general prioritization I’ve heard of personally is:
- Fix what they came in for
- Address any safety concerns
- Address things likely to cost them more money down the road
- And last, address general maintenance that can wait if necessary
Rule #4, Communicate That You’ll Be Prioritizing Services Based Their Needs
While increasing customer retention takes time and dedication from the entire team, the basic idea is pretty simple: Treat your customers the way you would like to be treated! Don’t forget to smile, greet them warmly and let them know you care.
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You may also like to read more from the SocialCRM blog:
- Showing Customer Gratitude Creates Loyalty: Thank You
- Showing Customers Gratitude Creates Loyalty: Thank You AGAIN
- Identifying and Thanking Your Most Valuable Customers
You may also like to read more about customer service and retention:
- From HubPages: Bad Customer Service: The Single Most Important Reason Why Customers Leave
- From Smashing Magazine: Taking a Customer from Like to Love: the UX of Long-Term Relationships