How to lose business – the number one mistake to avoid if you want more customers!

customersDid you know that 68% of customer defection takes place because customers feel poorly treated?*

My recent experience with a local software development business reflects this quite well – allow me to share what happened:

I had reached out to this company after watching their engaging presentation at a conference and hoped they would be able to help me with SEO and website security. At first contact, the account rep was quite friendly and asked to meet me for coffee so we could go over my needs in detail.

When we met however, I sensed right away that the account rep was focused on pushing their big ticket web design services on me rather than listening to my actual needs.  We did eventually discuss what I was actually shopping for and the account rep said he would get back to me the next day with a proposal for the services I was interested in buying.

What happened next was the kicker – I never heard from him again! Not only did he not send a proposal as promised, he also didn’t bother closing the loop on our conversation by telling me that he couldn’t deliver on what I asked for or providing a referral.

Needless to say, I not only un-subscribed from this company’s mailing list and will never do business with them (even if I do eventually need a new website), I will also not refer anyone else to consider their services.

The lesson here is that each of your prospects is a valuable asset to your business, even if they don’t buy from you in the short-term. If you dismiss someone too quickly because you think they are not your ideal customer, you could be doing far greater damage to your business than you think.

Here are some practical tips on how to maximize your relationships with prospective customers:

  • Respond to ALL inquiries about your products and services, even if your prospect is inquiring about something you don’t currently offer (don’t miss hidden gold mines for developing new ideas)
  • For the sake of respecting your prospects and your time, pre-qualify your leads BEFORE you meet with them in person
  • When you meet with your prospective customers, listen more than you talk and ask open-ended questions to discover your prospects’ true needs and wants
  • If a prospect turns out not to be your ideal client, express your regret about not being able to serve them and if possible, offer to refer them to a trusted colleague
  • Offer an alternative option to what your client is looking for – you never know, they just may not have considered using a different solution
  • Keep the door open and invite your prospects to maintain the relationship. Who knows, your prospects may turn out to be a great source for referrals, connections or qualify to do business with you in the future

There is so much we can learn from real life scenarios of how the customer experience we provide can make or break our businesses and I would encourage you to pay close attention to how YOU are being served by businesses you interact with on a daily basis. What do you like? What do you not like? Take notes, incorporate the best examples into your own business and then watch your customer satisfaction and retention rate go up, up, up!

If you would like additional help with creating a top notch customer experience for your Kingdom business, I invite you schedule a complimentary “Next Level Business Growth” strategy session with me.  Click here to access my online calendar.

* Data Source: TARP Worldwide

 

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