In one of the TED Talks videos about customer retention, Dr. John Story says a bitter truth.
"A customer who likes a brand and has already received the best service, and intends to stay loyal, can be 'seduced' and lured by competitors, even to the extreme of NO LONGER liking your product or service!"
Hate always has a negative connotation and is a powerful word. As extreme as it may seem, it's undeniable that some of your customers are out there who are secretly angry, their loyalty eroded by poor service in every interaction they have with your brand.
They may not move on to a competitor right away. Still, there are signs that they are already reluctant to continue doing business with you when a brand fails to meet the expectations of its loyal customers.
That's when loyal customers turn into brand-threatening monsters; they can go from brand advocates to brand haters.
So, it's a good idea to learn what can change your loyal customers to no longer like you like they used to. We've listed some of the symptoms you can learn from them.
Things That can Turn Your Loyal Customers Into Monsters
For those who've working hard to increase retention rates or maximize profits from each customer, the points below can serve as a timely reminder of what you shouldn't do to your customers.
1. Poor customer service
Throughout 2020, 40% of consumers reported having stopped dealing with brands due to poor customer service. However, this figure is down 13% from 2017, which shows an improvement in customer retention.
Customer satisfaction is one of the most important determinants of brand loyalty. High-quality service can be the difference between a one-time buyer and a lifelong repeat customer.
But not every company does a great job of keeping its customers. NICE CXone surveyed more than 700 consumers to identify gaps in customer satisfaction across ten different customer service channels. Overall, the results found that customers were not getting the resolution they wanted.
Eight in 10 customers say they will switch to a competitor because of poor customer service; businesses cannot focus on helping resolve customer complaints, whether by phone, email, or online chat. Therefore, companies need to resolve customer issues as quickly as possible. At least respond well to customers if they cannot provide real-time solutions.
2. Bad customer experience
An outstanding customer experience is essential for sustainable business growth. A positive customer experience increases loyalty, helps you retain customers, and drives brand advocacy.
The customer experience (CX) continues to be a determining factor for many customers. Businesses need to understand how a poor service experience will affect the brand.
A bad customer experience affects customer lifetime value (CLTV) because they leave you after a negative customer support experience. Loyalty and brand image are intertwined, and the loss of loyal customers affects the brand.
3. Lack of empathy
Your customers are the source of your life, and without them, your business would not run. It is why treating them right is so important. Your attention can make them consider your brand the top mind when making purchasing decisions.
It is not surprising that 60% of customers will be happy to recommend a brand to their circle if they receive good customer service and vice versa. 74% of millennials say lousy service from a brand they love will keep them loyal, and those with awful service will leave.
Focus on spending time and resources to educate your staff better. They need to know how to deal with all types of customers effectively. Customers want to feel that your business is approachable and genuinely cares about them.
4. Bad employee attitude
The quality of customer service provided by the company is highly dependent on the people hired for the position. Therefore, not having the right employees is the number one reason for poor customer service.
Regardless of qualifications, relevant experience, and skills, customer service must have; the right attitude, mindset, and high desire to help and serve others.
Because of just one negative attitude from employees who show inappropriate behavior and unfriendly attitude, it turns out that it not only provides a bad experience for customers but also causes churn.
According to a report by New Voice Media, 42% of consumers stopped supporting brands because the staff were rude or didn't help them solve their problems.
5. Too complicated loyalty programs
Program complexity can be a gateway for customers to be reluctant to join your loyalty program. If they have to go through much effort to join a loyalty program or a lengthy process of redeeming rewards, they will quickly give up and stop participating.
Provide clear information about your loyalty program and how customers can join your website. Provide information about how the program works and contact methods for inquiries.
6. You're giving unnecessary rewards
Customers will always be loyal to companies that give them incentives that match their expectations. They need to know that they will get something in return every time they decide to transact with you. It would be best to offer a valuable gift that shows your customers how much you value their loyalty.
Find out what gifts are good enough for your most valuable customers. Your customers' expectations are of the utmost importance, and if you fail to meet them, your loyalty program will seem hopeless, but your company may lose some of its best customers.
Customer loyalty is likely to drop when you provide useless offers and gifts. Therefore, train your team to study your customers' needs and offer them attractive rewards.
7. Lack of communication
Imagine if you become a customer but do not receive any communication from the brand. As a customer, you don't know when specific discounts run nor get notifications of new products. If the only contact with your customers is monthly invoices, then it is natural for them to leave you.
Start building two-way communication with customers, or you can also use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to reach them directly.
Did you email them with information about an upcoming special event? Do you reach out to them on social media and interact with them? Do you pick up the phone and personally thank your best customers? Start being aggressive to communicate directly with your customers.
8. Your business doesn't keep promises
Naturally, a company tends to make many promises to win business. Whether it's providing the best service, the most competitive prices, the most comprehensive product range, or the fastest calls.
But the most important thing is how the company can consistently develop loyalty in its customer base. If you don't deliver exactly as promised, you're just leaving the door open to competitors.
How to Deal with Unhappy Customers?
Dissatisfaction is very difficult to avoid, and there will always be customers who feel this way. Complaints are an opportunity to improve and update.
You can consider the following steps when dealing with unhappy customers.
1. Know the problem early
Allow customers to provide feedback so you know how satisfied they are. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it's good to encourage people to raise their concerns with you.
If you don't see the problem, you can't solve it. Regular and timely customer feedback surveys ensure that you are aware of the issue before it is too late to provide the best solution immediately.
2. Act fast
After receiving bad feedback or complaints, make sure you react quickly. Procrastination will only increase customer frustration and trigger them to spread negative news about your brand.
Contact the customer quickly, and apologize. Even if you don't have a solution for them yet, they need to know that you know the problem and find a solution for them right away.
3. Acknowledge your customers' complaints
You must acknowledge what the customer says, even if you may disagree. We've all heard the saying, "the customer is always right." Customers always have different perceptions of what's going on, so listen up and make sure they know you're on their side.
Use phrases like: "I can understand why that can be frustrating." or "We're sorry about the inconvenience." It will relax the customer and help them feel that you acknowledge their feelings and want to help them resolve it.
4. Understand what gone wrong
Find out exactly what happened and why the customer wasn't happy. Try to understand the problem from the customer's point of view. It will give you the best chance to solve the problem and save your relationship with the customer.
5. Solve the problems immediately
Start by asking the customer, "What can we do to improve it?" or "How can we fix this problem?" Sometimes customers don't even know what they want by asking direct questions, you can quickly understand what they want and align your expectations.
When customers ask things that don't make sense, stay calm and offer alternatives to show that you're willing to work with them. Be generous in your resolutions.
Tada as The Solution For Customer Loyalty
Tada; the best B2B loyalty platform in Indonesia offer the best programs to help businesses to retain their customers. From loyalty program to channel incentive, we have the technology and expertise to help businesses engage better with their customers, incentivize good behaviors and turn loyal customers to brand advocate.
We have helped hundred of brands with their customer loyalty program. Request our free demo to find out how our loyalty platform can be a good tools to increase your business profitability!