The founder of business review website, WOMO, has come up with some key reasons why clients switch their loyalty from one business to another.
‘Your business may be ‘dumped’ by a client every day, and you don’t even know it,’ says Fiona Adler founder of Womo. ‘Rather than focusing your efforts on chasing new clients, looking at why clients aren’t returning can be eye opening and may require just a few tweaks to your client communications to make a world of difference.’
Let’s have a look at the top seven reasons your clients might be on their way to the opposition.
The seven deadly sins:
1. You were being difficult
If you are too hard to contact and clients always get an answer machine when they call , or you never have room for an appointment when the do get through, then your clients will walk. Most people lead very busy lives and if a client puts aside time to call to make an appointment, but can’t lock it in within a reasonable time frame, most are not going to work around you. They are on the phone now calling someone else because clearly it is just too difficult.
2. They felt unloved
Clients need to feel they are important to you and not just another number. Pay them more attention, listen to them, and constantly reassure them that you can give them what they want. It comes down to your customer service attitude, remembering (or tracking) their name, likes, dislikes and interests can go a long way to show you care. There are simple, low-cost gestures to make customers feel loved: send them an e-card on their birthday or offer special occasion discounts, even remember their child or partners name. Simple as they are, they all help to make clients feel happy and special.
3. They were seduced by someone else
We know that existing clients are so important and it’s often said that for many businesses 20 per cent of customers produce 80 per cent of their revenue. Too often spas and salons are offering promotions for new clients without focusing enough on existing and loyal clients. More importantly, you can safely assume your competitors are trying to woo your clients with fabulous offers too. If you don’t give clients a reason to be loyal, they’ll soon start looking around at other offers and could easily be seduced by a better deal.
4. They didn’t know you could do that!
Unless you constantly promote your entire range of services, chances are that even your best clients won’t know about everything you can do. This gives them an opportunity to go elsewhere, and puts them at risk of leaving you permanently. For example, a client may get their facial done at Business A, but will go to Business B to get their makeup done.
Business B is great to deal with and it turns out that they also do facials. Pity that Business A didn’t let their client know they also offer a makeup service.
5. You assumed you knew what the client wanted
Never assume, do your research. Seek out what people are saying about you online. What are your competitors offering? How are people responding to them? It’s important to listen and adapt to build a positive reputation.
6. The grass seemed greener elsewhere
To continually impress your clients, you need to ‘wow’ them regularly. You need to look good, provide fabulous service, please them with your price points, and always keep things new and fresh. If you play old music in your spa or salon, leave a mess, let staff take no pride in their physical appearance, your clients will be bored and unimpressed – which of course results in them looking towards greener pastures. Don’t fall into the trap of regarding clients as ‘just a regular’ – ‘wow’ everyone who walks through your door.
7. They forgot about you
Remember, people are busy and have a lot on their plates. They won’t necessarily remember that you did a great job for their sister’s bridal party last year, so it’s up to you to keep yourself front of mind. It’s a good idea to call, email, or send a letter reminding them how you looked after them last season or last month, and that you’re available for them again with new and improved services. Unless you follow up, chances are they’ll be looking around for another spa or salon to help them next time around. Set up a program of regular communication and your client retention will improve dramatically.