I sat in a drive-thru at the shiny new fast food restaurant – the first time I had ever been there – and the line never moved. It was 2, 4, 8 minutes of waiting. I told myself that if it got to 10, I’d leave; I left. That was 2 years ago, and I’ve driven by it hundreds of times but have never been back.
The local cleaners changed owners, and I kept going – it was highly convenient – but the new owners don’t smile, don’t say hello, don’t say thank you. Their greeting is “Phone Number,” so they can key it into their system. They don’t say another word until you tell them the number of pieces and what you want done with them. When you’re at the register, and they’re waiting on the credit card machine, they don’t say a word – they look around with a stone face. I’m leaving that business, too.
The local cable/internet company came to upgrade my neighbor’s lines, and they cut the lines to my home. When they installed cable, they literally installed the shortest line possible, so there was no way to move the television more than 3 inches and still be hooked to cable. When calling their customer service line to setup appointments, the wait was long and the wait on the technician to come out to the house was longer. I switched internet providers and am waiting on a new TV provider to enter my region so that can be switched as well.
Sorry to be venting, but I’m not just sharing these issues just to vent (although it does feel good!) – I’m sharing these stories to illustrate the types of things that can drive customers away. The company may never realize it either if they don’t ask customers about their experience, don’t try to see the experience through the customer’s eyes, and don’t contact lost customers to ask about exit reasons.
They lose business – revenues drop – and it’s all about the customer experience.
Customer service matters. Time, engagement, caring, responsiveness – they all matter to the bottom line, the P&L, customer churn – whatever term we want to use.
And since customer service matters, ensure you’re tapping into customers so you know truly what they are feeling, why they’re leaving, and why revenues are going up and down.
Learn the lessons of these “three” lost customers.