How to Lose Customers
by John Mehrmann
Are you looking for a way to get rid of some of those pesky customers who seem to keep coming back and taking up all of your time? Rather spend your time looking for new customers? Have no fear, we have gathered the top ten tips for weeding out the heard and getting rid of customers.
Have you found that you have just too many customers? Are you looking for a way to get rid of some of those pesky customers who seem to keep coming back and taking up all of your time? Would you like to have time to do more important things, like spend your time trying to get new customers, rather than spend so much time taking care of existing customers? Have no fear, we have gathered some of the top ten tips for weeding out the heard and getting rid of customers.
- Play games with their finances, avoid paying rebates or ignore discounts
- Lie to your customers or intentionally mislead them
- Forget previous promises and refuse to live up to your commitments
- Make false claims or advertising about your products or services, practice "puffery"
- Make it virtually impossible to get in touch with a human being, add more menu options to answering services do not return messages
- Disrespect your customer, pretend they are not there, ignore them, be rude or condescending
- Blame problems on company policy or coworkers, take whatever tact is necessary to avoid personal responsibility
- Remind your customer that you are the only option
- Assign numbers to your customers and avoid using their names, make them look for their number
- Tell them to quit whining because there are other customers who have the same problem or have it much worse
Have you tried any of these tactics with your customers already?
If you are not trying to give away your customers to your competition, what are you proactively doing to insure that the opposite approach is being taken? It is not just a matter of trying to avoid these top ten tips for thinning the customer herd, it is about proactively doing the opposite. The odds are that several people in your organization are already practicing one or more of these top ten tips. What can you do to instill a culture that embraces a well defined alternative approach?
The odds are even greater that many members of your competition are practicing several of these top ten tips for getting rid of customers. As your competition becomes more prolific at practicing the art of losing customers, what can you do to create an environment that rewards associates for embracing and evangelizing customers?
There is a very simple barometer for measuring which side of the customer-centric fence your organization inhabits. Just ask this one simple question, "What gives you a greater sense of satisfaction, getting rid of an annoying customer or keeping one?"
- Act responsibly to protect the finances, assets and investments of your customer, they are investing in you
- Be honest and trustworthy, especially when it seems uncomfortable to do so
- Only make promises that you can keep and then keep them
- Exercise Truth in Advertising
- Design automation for customer ease and convenience, not for avoidance
- Treat customers with courtesy and respect, they are your shareholders
- Take ownership and command to find solutions and then coordinate internally if other resources are necessary
- To keep the competition away you need to 'win' your customer with every contact
- Numbers and Accounts are for identification, but authentic relationships are for people
Words of Wisdom
"Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow them."
- Madame de Stael
"Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be."
- Og Mandino
"Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality."
- Peter Drucker
John Mehrmann is a freelance author, industry expert and President of Executive Blueprints Inc., an organization devoted to improving business practices and developing human capital.