REASONS WHY YOU KEEP LOSING CUSTOMERS
It’s interesting when we encounter different kinds of business owners and their various personalities. It goes further to reflect on their business operations.
One of the most interesting characters we encountered was Chinedu, a first-class graduate. One would imagine that Chinedu would go on to the corporate world with his grades. However, he had always wanted to run his business and decided to follow his dreams.
Unfortunately, Chinedu was someone who believed in only his capabilities and never listened to others. He felt he knew everything and refused to heed business advice from those in the game already. When people tried to advise him, he would remind them that he finished with a first-class grade and ask them about their grades.
Soon, people stopped trying to advise Chinedu and left him to run his business the way he deemed fit. Sadly, Chinedu went on the path of running his company to the ground, and that would have happened if we had not gotten to him at the time we did.
When we encountered Chinedu, he lamented bitterly about how he was always constantly losing customers. He complained that people never returned for repeat purchases and that he could stay for weeks without making sales.
So, we analyzed his business and noted some things he was doing wrong. Some of the reasons why he kept losing customers include:
9 Reasons Why Your Customers Don’t Come back
- You don’t take feedback: This was one of the negative characteristics we noticed about Chinedu. He believed he was the business owner and knew how to handle the operations. However, you cannot be perfect in all aspects of a business operation, even as a business owner.
Chinedu was never open to receiving feedback from friends or even customers. But, as a business owner, you must be open to receiving feedback and incorporating this feedback.
When your customers complain about something, you must ensure that you try to rectify it. Sometimes, it could be that you cannot do a total overhaul, but the thought and effort usually go a long way for the customers. Once they see that you put effort into incorporating their feedback, they will feel valued by your company and have only good reviews.
However, when you pay a deaf ear to all feedback forms, these customers will port and patronize other businesses that would value their feedback. In addition, your business will remain stagnant if you are not open to receiving feedback.
- You don’t follow up with your customers: How often do you check up on your customers? It usually comes in handy to have a database of your customers so you can check on them even after purchase.
It usually doesn’t have to be elaborate as you can send a thank you message, or send messages during holidays and also on their birthdays. It helps with top-of-mind awareness as the customer wouldn’t forget about you or your business when you constantly follow-up.
To do this, you can get a database of their email addresses or phone numbers, anyone you think would be the easiest to get. It is also best not to overdo it by spamming them, as that can irritate them and give them a negative perception of your brand.
Instead, it should be once in a while, and the message content should be short and catchy. Checking up on your customers also shows that you appreciate their patronage.
- You are not consistent: What sort of business owner are you? Are you the type who would post about their business today and wouldn’t post again for the next three months? Are you the type who only goes to your shop when you feel like it? Consistency goes a long way when you are running a business, and you will lose customers if you are not consistent.
For example, imagine opening your shop only on days when you are in a good mood. If you do this, what happens to customers who want to buy things on days when you do not open your store? Then, of course, you can be sure that they will move to your competitors, and they will even tell other people that you are not a serious business owner as you are not constant or steady.
We encourage people not to start a business if they are not ready. Of course, there would be bad times when running a business. However, it would be best if you stayed resilient.
- Your product doesn’t solve the need of your target audience: Does your product solve the need of your target audience? We have noticed that many business owners get it wrong with their target audience representation.
For example, they could be selling a product for kids, but their target audience focuses on young men who are just starting their careers. So, they tailor their advert messages to such people, and it flies over their heads. Hence, you are not getting the sales you desire.
It is usually a big problem if you get the profiling of your target audience wrong. For example, if you sell a product that solves children’s needs, your advert messaging should also be childlike and target mothers and children.
If customers see that your brand isn’t solving their needs, they won’t patronize you anymore. Instead, they will look for other brands with products that can satisfy their needs. After all, no one wants to waste money on things they do not need.
- Your brand isn’t warm: We always advocate that brand owners should strive to build a friendly brand that makes people happy. To do this, you must have your customers and target audience in mind. How do you want people to feel when they have first contact with your brand? For example, someone sees your brand online. What’s the emotion you want to trigger within them as they come in contact with your brand?
The goal should be for your brand to trigger warmth within them, so it compels them to make a purchase. Therefore, the emotive route is best for building your brand. You do not want a situation where people would come across your brand and skip without feeling any emotion that draws them to your products and services.
Typically, your social media or digital communications manager has this responsibility which is why you should be open to delegating responsibilities.
- You’re not trustworthy: Trustworthiness is an important character trait for anyone running a business. Aside from the fact that it is needed for running a business, it is also an essential life value.
We often see that humans value trustworthiness and run away from anyone who isn’t trustworthy. Likewise, your customers will run away from your brand when they sense you are unreliable.
You must ensure that you deliver on your brand promises by being trustworthy. For example, the quality of the product you advertise should be the same thing you provide to your customers. It shouldn’t be a case where the customer begins to regret and question why they decided to patronize you.
Also, if you promised a specific delivery date to your customer, you should work towards delivering the products and goods on the said date. When you deliver on a later day, you are breaking the promise you made, and it doesn’t show trustworthiness.
- You’re not a flexible business owner: Even though Chinedu was a young man, he behaved like someone from the stone years. All those who have worked with Chinedu complained that he wasn’t receptive to change. He always thought he knew best and never wanted to change ideas, even when it was clear that these ideas would benefit the business.
His rigidness would be his undoing if we did not meet him in time. Some business owners believe that processes should always be set in stone. Because something has worked before doesn’t mean that you must follow the same direction for your operations. You can always tweak ideas to make them even more beneficial.
As a business owner, you must be open and receptive to change if you want to grow and boost your business. Being rigid has never helped anyone. Instead, it leaves you stagnant at a specific point which would adversely affect your brand.
- Your business isn’t tech-savvy: One of the reasons why you may be losing customers is that you haven’t adapted technology to your business operations. It also ties to being flexible and receptive to change.
If you look around you, most businesses are tilting or have tilted towards technology. People now agree that you can use technology in various ways when running a business. Believe it or not, customers go beyond making purchases from a brand. They further look at how you run your business, which plays out as a deciding factor as to whether they will keep patronizing you.
For example, customers may want easier ways to reach you instead of constantly coming to your location. In such a case, they would check if you are on social media platforms. Thus, it becomes a turnoff for them when they cannot find your business on any social media platform. Instead, they will look for other brands that are tech-savvy and have social media platforms as they believe that it will be less stressful to patronize such brands.
- You do not believe in teamwork: Teamwork, they say, makes the dream work. People always say this, and we agree with their point of view. Sadly, some business wonders like Chinedu believe they can work as an island since they are business owners.
Yes, you own the business, but it isn’t everything you can do simultaneously. For example, can you be sourcing for investors and still handling social media? Chinedu believed he could manage finance, business operations, and more by himself. Thus, he never carried other team members along in what he was doing, and it soon caused a disparity.
He later realized that he alone couldn’t do everything, as it led to fatigue and chaos. In addition, when customers sense that things are not going on smoothly with your business, they wouldn’t want to keep patronizing you as they do not wish to be affiliated with negative energy.
How do I regain customers?
As a business owner, it’s normal if you lose customers due to one mistake or the other. What matters is that you pick yourself up and make corrections. It would be best to work on various aspects of your operations to regain lost customers, including teamwork. It would help to build an efficient and trustworthy team so your customers can be happy.
As you build your brand, you should also focus on ensuring that customers feel warm when they come in contact with your brand. When all these are in place, you can regain your lost customers as they would get their attention, and they would want to give you a try again.
What is a winback customer?
A winback customer is someone who might have tried your brand before and left to patronize your competitors. If you successfully bring such a person back to patronizing your business, the person is a winback customer.
If you are a business owner acting like Chinedu, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and set things straight. You are the business owner doesn’t mean you know it all.
Follow the tips we highlighted above, and you will retain your customers and gain new ones.